Heems is the alter ego of Queens' native, Himanshu Suri; an Indian-American MC who's former group, Das Racist, reached massive status with their ubiquitous breakout single "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell". After releasing their debut album Relax
in 2011, the trio abruptly disbanded, each member going off on their own creative tangent of singles, mixtapes, and albums that were not that
different than what they were doing as a group. That this particular summary lead with reference to "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" is probably a big reason for the split. Heems, Kool A.D., and DJ Dapwell had no interest in playing novelty act.
Since that time Heems has released a number of singles and mixtapes, toured and lived in Southeast Asia, and spent a great deal of time connecting with his heritage. This past March he released his proper solo debut, Eat Pray Thug
, heading to Austin for the exhausting SXSW racket that tends to precede a spring release. On a drizzly Friday afternoon he dropped by our party at Empire, plodding through pieces that explore race, identity, politics, and place in the world for our latest Garage Gig Concert Video. "Post 9/11 dystopian brown man rap", he dubbed it in a previous interview
, bringing everything that's abrasive, challenging, and intellectual about exploring such topics to the stage.