On the eighth anniversary of the World Trade Center bombings, I found myself chatting with Himanshu and Victor of the controversial new rap duo, Das Racist. Unlike most days in recent history, these bohemian Brooklyn’ites, recalled exactly what they were doing.
Victor: I was doing push-ups, listening to Big Pun’s, Capital Punishment, when my parents came into my room like “YOOOO!” I went to school, left early, went to work, left early, and kicked it at my girlfriend’s house.
Himanshu: I was in my video production class at Stuyvesant High School, a couple of blocks away. Hella suits were walking by in a hurry. By the time the second plane hit I was watching it on the news in a classroom and out of a window AT THE SAME TIME. The FBI said the buildings won’t fall so the safest place to be is inside of our building. Then they fell. We got evacuated. 3200 of us had to go to school in Brooklyn for a month while our high school was used as a triage center.
While America continues to heal from a huge laceration in its homeland security, underground hip hop is quietly being transformed as well. There was a time, not too long ago, when every rap act sounded the same. The change in attitudes since 9/11 has affected the sounds and lyrics of those who were previously too afraid to be different.