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Ashok Kondabolu of Das Racist Curates a Show Inspired By Things That Make Him Go ‘Whoa’

(Photo: Joe Perez / Babycastles)

(Photo: Joe Perez / Babycastles)

Somehow, it makes perfect sense that Ashok Kondabolu‘s art exhibition and ideas convention puts fake Rolexes, early ’90s TV commercials, and the Ramayana (a Hindu epic poem that dates to the 4th-century BC) on equal footing. The guy talks a mile a minute, ideas both hairbrained and right-on spilling out of his mouth. Sometimes he veers off into sounding like that friend who’s really smart but smokes way too much weed. Ashok is definitely less hazy, but you’d still be wise to shrug off some of the goofy madness and self-conscious humor. Beneath it all there are nuggets of brilliance and speedy ambition, the products of which are on full display at Yo Fight My Mans, which opens tonight at Babycastles.

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Heems On Rachel Dolezal, Getting Political, and How Hip-Hop Is Like an Ex-Girlfriend

Heems. (Photo Credit: Shivani Gupta).

Heems. (Photo Credit: Shivani Gupta).

We caught Himanshu Suri (known by his stage name, Heems) after his performance this weekend at Northside Festival. The rapper and visual artist from Queens, formerly of the group Das Rascist, will travel across North America for his Eat Pray Thug tour — the lineup for which was just announced. Among other things, he talked to us about “Damn, Girl,” a straight-faced song off the new album, and the choreography for the recently released video. He was open and friendly during our chat, though he would say only “no comment” when asked about the criticism he received for his use of the N-word during his talk in London, “The Policing of Brown Bodies Post 9/11.” Here’s what he said before that.

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Reel Psyched: Our Northside and L.E.S* Film Festival Picks

Introducing “Reel Psyched,” wherein we tell you what we’re really excited to see in the theaters this week.
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With the Lower East Side Film Festival in full swing in Manhattan and the Northside Festival’s film program popping off tonight in Brooklyn, it’s a good time to be a film buff.

At the L.E.S* Film Festival, which kicked off Thursday and continues through the weekend, offerings from up-and-coming directors are judged by a panel of guests including celebrities like Judah Friedlander (“30 Rock”) and Dan Janvey (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”). The audience favorite gets a $2,000 check from Vimeo (ahem, Bedford + Bowery’s video player of choice).
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