Reviewer: Johnny Kassab
Album: Eat Pray Thug
Himanshu Suri, known to the public as Heems, just dropped one of the most culturally charged albums I’ve ever heard. After being a founding member of the late & great rap group Das Racist with Kool A.D., Heems has finally taken the time to pursue a solo career with Eat Pray Thug being his debut album to follow up his debut mixtape Wild Water Kingdom. As a brown man myself, I’ve always felt like an observer of hip-hop. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s pretty much either white rappers or black rappers. That’s not to say there aren’t some Middle Eastern artists rapping out there, but no brown man is on par with Himanshu. That being said, I finally felt that I had a voice in hip-hop with Eat Pray Thug.
I kept track of the album’s release and was ecstatic when the album came to the station. The record is only 11 tracks, starting off with bangers, the middle is peppered with politics and dance tracks, eventually transitioning into a full-fledged post 9-11 perspective piece. Even the album artwork tells part of the story, as it shows what appears to be a subway map of NYC crosses with the traditional head piece of Pakistani women. I strongly believe in the old tradition of listening to an album from start to finish, because the artist put them in that order for a reason. Eat Pray Thug is no different and I implore you to listen to it start-to-finish in one sitting. Tracks like Flag Shopping, Al Q8a, Suicide By Cop, and Patriot Act shows what it was like growing up as a middle eastern kid in the aftermath of the crashing of the twin towers. Although I didn’t grow up in New York, I can relate to the vast majority of the lines, some being too real. This album would have been a perfect 5/5 if it were closer to the standard 16 tracks instead of 11, this just leaves me wanting more.
4.5/5 American Flags that say “I Am Not Osama”