Monday, 18 March 2013

Heems- Start The Bus 17/03/13

Artists can have a great live show for many reasons. They can be energetic on stage, be note perfect, or have a weird spontaneity. Brooklyn rapper  and ex-Das Racist member Heems (or Himanshu) seems to have gone for the latter in a big way. 

His music, both with solo and with Das Racist always seems to tread the line between parody and serious hip hop, and when he takes to the stage Heems optimises this. 

What happens for the next hour showcases Heems brilliant weirdness perfectly. For starters he is fucked. It's hard to decide quite what he has consumed, but it's definitely got to him. Despite this he is absolutely word perfect. This also has made him incredibly chatty (take from this what you will).He starts with a weird freestyle about not needing to soundcheck. Whilst soundchecking . Then half way through second song "Rappin 2 U" he starts a half-ramble, half-stand up piece about how he thinks everyone is trying to punch him in the face. He gives a little cheeky smile after, knowing how ridiculous he is being.

 As if that wasn't odd enough, he also bought a mic hooked up to a delay pedal for one purpose. So he can shout into it endlessly making a wall of noise. This doesn't add anything to any of the songs and is there just for his own amusement It's as hilarious as it is perplexing. 

The music though is flawless. After going through a few solo songs, including "Cowabunga Knarly" and "Third Thing" from his most recent mixtape, he decides to do a montage of Das Racist songs. Set over the beat to "Xxplosive" by Dre.  Let that sink in for a sec, because it is as brilliant as you imagine.

 He controls the whole show, badly, from his laptop. This means he is easily distracted and brilliantly sloppy. When changing the track he accidentally plays a snippet of "Womyn". The crowd go nuts. So he does it, unprepared. Still word perfect. Considering the state he's in, this is a huge achievement. 

Then things get realllly weird. Heems decides to play Frank Ocean's "Forrest Gump" off his laptop. The crowd wait expectantly for him to rap over it. Instead he just sings it, karaoke style, finishing by saying "This musics way better than my own isn't it?" No one is quite sure whether this this was meant to be part of the show.

 He then gets distracted by an instrumental he got sent the other day, insisting he plays it to the crowd before rapping one of his own verses over the top. He's completely in his element, dancing along. You can't help but enjoy yourself along with him, despite not quite sure what's going on. 

Finishing off with newest single "Soup Boys", a politically changed banger condemning the US's use of drones, Heems has the crowd round his finger, even if he can't control his own fingers. He then put another song on his laptop, singing along before deciding the shows finished. 

The lack of any sort of plan or direction has not marred this show, if anything, making it better. He could have gone on for another hour, randomly spewing odd anecdotes and delving into his back catalogue and it would have still been energetic and fresh. A true weirdo.

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