Heems -- aka Himanshu Suri, formerly of the Brooklyn hip-hop crew Das Racist -- is all about dualities on his debut solo album, "Eat Pray Thug" (Megaforce).
"Sometimes, I'm 'bout chicks, sometimes it's politics," he explains in "Sometimes," which sets the tone for the complicated tightrope walking he does on the album. In "So NY," he explains his move to Hicksville to live with his parents with the couplet, "I'm so New York, yo, I live with my momma, had to leave Williamsburg and all the white drama" before making a point about global politics with the next two lines.
"Patriot Act" is a harrowing tale of post-9/11 racism, while "Pop Song (Games)" is a dance-floor love song. It's a tough mix, but Heems manages it well.
Heems plays Baby's All Right, 146 Broadway, Brooklyn, at 8 p.m. April 20.
"Eat Pray Thug"
THE GRADE A-
BOTTOM LINE Telling his story as an Indian-American rapper from New York.