Kool A.D., emcee numero dos of Queens-based alt hip-hop trio, Das Racist, is 51 years old. On the inside. At least that’s the impression we get from dude’s lax new video for “La Piñata,” the third track off of his latest mixtape 51—his second solo release in four months.
With the success of Das Racist’ legit studio debut Relax, A.D. (his driver’s license reads Victor Vasquez) and crew closed out 2011 with their name near the top of every “album of the year” writeup. Intending to slow down the hype train, the group has taken a break from any collective efforts and gone their separate ways for a minute.
Das Racist frontman/most intense guy in the band, Heems, aka Himanshu Suri, put out his solo tape Nehru Jackets in early January, and A.D. released a sloppy set of tracks titled The Palm Wine Drinkard around the same time. The group’s third member, hype-man Dapwell, is set to release a solo mixtape later this year.
The video for “La Piñata,” produced by Das Racist live-show director Justin Hantz, is essentially a visual snippet of Kool A.D.’s entire demeanor—smooth, kitschy, cool, weird, and sometimes indecipherable all at once. Did we mention weird? A suspenseful choral sample and the inspiring words of Mr. Rogers invite you into an empty hotel hallway prime for a Stanley Kubrick sort of situation. Cut to Kool A.D. in his “suite,” lighting a waxy “51” stuck in a stack of Wonderbread. Reverby guitar echoes into a pocketed jazz beat with the aforementioned Rogers filling the track breaks with sweater-vested consultation.
A.D.’s Q-Tipped flow shadows the hotel room party that fills the frame for the majority. The emcee, his Das Racist bandmates, and a lady friend or two, take part in various activities, including but not limited to: harassing a chicken, chewing on money, counting money, throwing money, drinking beer, smoking weed, and destroying a devil piñata with what looks to be a table leg—all of it lit in red, purple, green, and blue.
“You can pretend you’re all grown up,” says Mr. Rogers. “And then when you’ve finished pretending, you can be just the way you are.”
Kool A.D. apparently still takes Rogers’ words to heart.