Heems: Eat Pray Thug

Ex-Das Racist MC makes an honest, emotional solo record

Credit: Shivani Gupta

In his first album since the breakup of meta-rap trio Das Racist, the group's Himanshu Suri has stopped hiding "behind the humor and absurdity." That doesn't mean he doesn't still have great punchlines ("They borrow/Not from my borough/I'm 'thorough' like Henry David"). Heems' attempt at an "honest" record basically means doubling down on the hallmarks of traditional New York underground rap: hard beats, knotty rhymes and a political streak. It's the least think-piece-ready album he's ever been on — but with tons of incisive emotional insights on growing up of South Asian descent in post-9/11 America, it's the most likely to kick-start a long career.