The members of Das Racist have been getting into the spirit of the Tibet House Concert. The annual show, which composer Phillip Glass has put together for the past 21 years, is known for bringing together disparate artists for the one cause of raising money and awareness for the people of Tibet.
Ashok Kondabolu — who as the hype man in Das Racist goes by the name Dap — says he was surprised to be added to a lineup that includes Lou Reed, James Blake, Laurie Anderson, Rahzel and Dechen Shak-Dagsay.
Dap doesn’t think that there’s much of a chance that his hip-hop crew, known for vacillating between social commentary and extreme silliness, will necessarily share the stage with anybody on the roster.
“As far as collaborating, it would probably be pretty mishmashy if we did a song with Lou Reed or something,” he says with a laugh. “It would probably not be a song that I would ever listen to, but it will be cool to be in a room with those dudes.”
But that doesn’t mean Das Racist doesn’t have something special planned.
“We’re trying to actually work on getting the string quartet arrangements to ‘Michael Jackson’ and ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ to do at Tibet House,” Dap says.
One of the songs to get spe-cial treatment tonight, “Mi-chael Jackson,” features the seemingly nonsensical hook of the three Das Racist members shouting, “Michael Jackson, one million dollars, you feel me?” And apparently, a lot of people did feel it, as the single was a bit of an underground hit for the group last year. Dap is humble when acknowledging the single’s success.
“Probably a handful of Michael Jackson fans saw it, and were like ‘What’s this about?’ and they’re probably older so they bought it on iTunes instead of illegally downloading it like a normal person,” he says. “And then they were probably just confused. … That’s our target demographic, confusing older people into buying our music.”