Even if you’ve never heard of Das Racist, you might be familiar with “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell,” their ridiculous novelty track that hit the web in late 2008. “I’m at the Pizza Hut” “I’m at the Taco Bell” “I’m at the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.” While mildly amusing, I’d rank it among the worst songs I’ve ever heard, but its musical quality is irrelevant since it’s just a joke, which is obvious when you hear the group’s non-fast food themed songs on Shut Up Dude, their new mix tape presented by Brooklyn-based fashion designer Mishka NYC.
“Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” is an accurate indicator of the group’s sense of humor, easily their defining characteristic, but what you can’t tell from the call-and-response chorus and silly banter is that Das Racist are actually skilled wordsmiths. Their rhymes are often nonsensical, lyrical substance is not their m.o., but they’ve got wordplay for days. The best example of their style, and finest moment in their short career, is “Rainbow in the Dark,” their second single and the standout track on Shut Up Dude. (the music video is embedded at the bottom of this post)