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Talking to Hari Kondabolu About His New Album and the Impact of 'Totally Biased'

Hari Kondabolu was not really supposed to become a professional standup. The otherworldly circumstances that brought him from a career as an immigrant rights organizer to the present-day release of his first album, Waiting for 2042 (named for the alleged year in which white Americans will be in the statistical minority), could have easily taken him on another professional trajectory.

This path is probably part of why he is extremely humble. Despite an extremely productive career that included regional fame in the Seattle comedy world, a writing and presenting slot on FX’s now-defunct Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, a well-regarded podcast and live show with his brother Ashok (a.k.a. Dapwell from the now-defunct hip-hop group Das Racist), and a Comedy Central Presents special, he still sees his ever-evolving comic career as something surreal. His modesty underscores a powerful firebrand spirit that has turned Kondabolu into the rising star that he’s become. He discusses race, politics, discrimination, and Weezer with the framing of someone whose experiences with marginalization and education have opened up a painfully-precise insight into the insidious mechanisms that govern our society. I caught up with Kondabolu on the eve of his third appearance at South by Southwest and discussed his new album, his myriad projects’ ends and beginnings, and what brought him to this place. READ MORE