Straight Outta Wesleyan

05FOB-Q4-t_CA0-articleInlineDeborah Solomon interviews Das Racists, in the NYT Magazine:

Your indie-rap group, Das Racist, is known for songs that wittily riff on Taco Bell, Googleand the general limitations of American consumerism. Rap is a black art form that originated in the Bronx, so why, as two Wesleyan graduates who met in college, would you think you could rap?

Himanshu Suri (top): Would you prefer your rappers to be uneducated? Victor Vazquez: And would we even be on the page of this publication if we had not gone to Wesleyan?

You jokingly describe yourself as “Puerto Rican cousins” in a song title, when in fact you are neither Puerto Rican nor cousins. What are you actually?

Suri: It’s weird. I’m an Indian-American who is participating in a historically black art form, while acknowledging that the experience of South Asians in America has been a relatively easier one than that of black Americans. Vazquez: My dad is black and my mom is white, and I don’t know if I am neither or both. And we don’t have the time to get into the identity-politics discussion that this would lead to. Suri: Then what are we doing here? Vazquez: We’re bigging up our brand so that we can make more money. Suri: To buy things. I want to start dressing more like a British colonialist in a red coat and maybe lighten my skin with that money.