Rap fans were shocked and dismayed last week when Ashok Kondabalu, DJ for the group Das Racist, formally announced the group’s dissolution. We here at okayplayer were mostly just dismayed because while modeling okayplayer and okayafrica tees for this photo shoot in mid-October, Victor Vasquez AKA Kool A.D. was already speaking of Das Racist in the past tense. Nevertheless once the split became official we had some questions and concerns, and Victor was kind enough to share his feelings about the situation–and his plans for the future–in this quick but candid Q&A:
OKP: I know you mentioned that Das Racist might be over with when you were on set for the OKP tee shoot…but I guess we didn’t want to believe it. Can you describe in your own words how the split came about?
KOOL A.D.: I was just done with the project and wanted to leave. I don’t think even my manager, bookers or press agents believed it. It was walking away from a lot of money but it’s something I knew I had to do.
OKP: It felt like both you and Heems had recently moved away somewhat from the conceptual aspect of Das Racist–some of the self-reflexive commentary on rap tropes and identity–and kind of focused in more honing your craft with guest verses and just well…bars. Would you agree with that assessment and does that have anything to do with moving on from DR as a joint project or concept?
KAD: I’m still not sure what the conceptual aspect of Das Racist was, I just know I wasn’t feeling it anymore. I never thought of myself trying to “hone my craft.” I’d say your craft hones itself as you continue to do what you do. If that makes any sense at all.
OKP: Have you spoken with Heems and/or Kondabalu since the news was officially announced the last week? Are you all on good terms and can we expect collabos in the not-too-distant future?
KAD: I’ve spoken with them and we’re on good terms but, no. You can’t expect collabos in the not-too-distant-future.
OKP: What does life after DR look like for Kool A.D.? What are you currently working on and what projects do you have coming up?
KAD: I have a project with DR collaborator Kassa Overall called Peaceful Solutions that just got mastered and we’re trying to figure out the release schedule. I have a lot of solo material recorded still figuring out a release schedule for that. Co-wrote and Exec-produced an EP for proto-post pop chick Cult Days. Got a punk rock group called Party Animal releasing a self entitled record early next year, I play drums in that. Doing a little songwriting here and there for folks, some guest verses. Selling shitty art on my Twitter for a hundred bucks a pop, been talking to my dude about doing a solo art exhibit at his studio early next year. Keeping busy, basically.
OKP: Who can we expecting you to be collaborating with on future joints—Fat Tony? Phillip Glass? Ornette Coleman? Bonde Do Role? Kweli? The Coup? Shakira? Stop me when I guess right…
KAD: The one verse I’m waiting on right now is from Boots but he’s been on tour. Did some stuff with Fat Tony, yeah. Ornette Coleman is dead but I wish he wasn’t (actually he is not, as far as we know dead. -ed). Would be dope to do something with Phillip Glass I might hit up our old manager for his info now that you mention it. Maybe another joint with Bonde Do Role, that’s the homies. Got another Kweli joint. Wouldn’t turn down a Shakira collabo. I fuck with whoever fucks with me I guess. A lot more collabos but I don’t want to give too much away.