Today, September 13, the first official gimme-your-money release from Das Racist hits stores. Relax, which features the excellent single "Michael Jackson," is the first non-mixtape from the trio of New York and Cali natives. Himanshu Suri (aka Heems) hails from Queens, as does Ashok Kondabolu (aka Dap), and Victor Vazquez (aka Kool A.D.) claims San Francisco.
Because the crew is fond of pointed irreverance, when DR sat down with Complex we gently guided the conversation toward burgers. And like watching a light switch move into the on position, the crew—Heems especially—came alive, weighing in emphatically.
Complex: So. We had a burgers list.
Heems: Yeah, of course. I was talking [on Twitter] about how I really didn’t fuck with that list. I wanted Diner’s (85 Broadway, Williamsburg, Brooklyn) burger to be on it.
Kool A.D.: Was Shake Shack on it?
Heems: But I thought Shake Shack was too low. It was at #23.
Complex: #25, actually.
Heems: I thought that was ridiculous. I didn’t think Goodburger needed to be on there. I think 5 Napkin was on it. Was Five Leaves (18 Bedford Ave.)? That place in Brooklyn?
Kool A.D.: Five Leaves in Greenpoint.
Heems: I think Five Leaves is really good. I don’t think Goodburger is good; I’ve had their burger mad times. I used to work right by there in Union Square. And I think Diner needed to be top five; they have one of the best burgers in the city.
Kool A.D.: DuMont?
Heems: DuMont was on there. It was very low. [Note: it was #13.] Though I do think Diner’s is much better than DuMont.
Complex: Have you had Peter Luger, the one that was #2?
Heems: No, we’re goin’ there soon.
Complex: Have you had Peaches, the burger with the chicken skin on it?
Kool A.D.: Wait. Chicken skin on a burger? Oh, god..
Complex: Are you interested in that?
Kool A.D.: God.
Heems: I was talking about this before, but like burgers and me have an odd relationship, because I never, as a Hindu, grew up eating any beef. But because of McDonald’s corporate marketing being effective at it, burgers were the one thing that I wanted to eat. And then it became a thing where I was fat and I always used humor to deal with things. And then I decided that it would be mad funny as a fat dude to just embrace burgers full on, and then I got really into them. I don’t eat them as much anymore
Complex: But you hold fierce opinions.
Heems: Yes. They’re something that I’ve taken the time to look into, to find the best variety of.