Yo, well continuing on in this Native tongues series for the second installment its only fitting to hit up De La Soul. I have jammed their music now for so long it always keeps me happy and head noddin. there is a little twist to the samples section of the post this time as I have abused my privileges of being the moderator for our facebooking side of things to select the tracks. I did this simply by asking peeps in via the status. I think its a good look so might make a regular feature. As an added bonus there is a little FREENESS surprise at the end of the post for you Guys to cop. so without further a due lets get it rolling cos the STAKES IS HIGH!
De La Soul are a predominately 3 man hip hop group from Long Island New York, consisting of Kelvin Mercer (Posdnuos, Mercenary, Plug Wonder Why, Plug One), David Jude Jolicoeur (Trugoy the Dove, Dave, Plug Two) and Vincent Mason (P.A. Pasemaster Mase, Maseo, Plug Three, Baby Huey). After hearing the groups demo track ‘Plug Tunin’ producer Prince Paul (member of rap group Stetasonic) got involved playing the demo to various industry players around New York, this in turn helped the group gain a recording deal with the Tommy Boy label.
De La Soul with Prince Paul on production set about creating the groups debut album ‘3 Feet high and Rising‘ which then dropped in the Spring of 1989. The album was incredibly well received by the public and was hailed as the future of hip hop. It represented a different side of the genre to the more hardcore rap that was dominating at the time. The albums quirky themes and awesome rhyme style was such a departure to the norm that it gained wide spread acclaim. Even to this day its still considered a classic which last year was cemented even more so when it was selected by the Library of Congress as a 2010 addition to the National Recording Registry, which selects recordings annually that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. ( took them long enough though!) Most of the albums lyrical content focused on the aspects of peace and harmony, sentiment which was strong fading in the content of hip hop at the time. This in turn branded the group with the label of being hippies which the group took issue with.
In the video above some of those issues are addressed so check it out. plus a handy little tip the artwork for the album was done by a group of British artists called The Grey Collective, who also did a few other albums for he Tommy boy label at the time.
In 1991 the group released their follow up album ‘De La is Dead‘ a more mature project which heavily took issue with the violence and careless direction that they felt hip hop was going in at the time. But the group still managed to maintain a they signature good sense of humor. The cover of the album features a broken daisy flower pot, symbolizing the death of the “D.A.I.S.Y. Age” and the imagery that went along with it. The album spawned several singles, including the dark “Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa”, a tale of a young girl who could no longer take the sexual abuse from her father, and the lead single “Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)”, a story about the people who used De La’s recent fame to try and launch their own careers.
De La collaborated with the Black Sheep on “Fanatic of the B Word,” Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest on “A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays””, and Prince Paul makes an appearance on the mic in “Pass the Plugs” with a verse of his own. The album also more prominently featured Vincent Mason as a rapper, providing verses of his own on “Bitties in the BK Lounge,” “Afro Connections at a Hi-5,” and “Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)”.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/De-La-Soul-19-Pass-The-Plugs.mp3″ text=”De La Soul – Pass The Plugs” dl=”0″]
1993 saw the group really cement themselves as mainstay artists of the hip hop movement with their 3rd release ‘Buhloone Mindstate‘. As one would expect this album saw the group expand and grow even more. The album includes many guest features including the late great Guru of group Gang Starr, legendary saxophonist Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Willis, Biz Markie, Des (Black Sheep). Also featured heavily is the cousin of Posdnuos MC shortie No Mas. Also featured on the track ‘Long Island Wildin’ are Japanese hip hop group Scha Dara Parr and fellow Japanese contemporary Takagi Kan. the album created much critical acclaim but not as much commercial success, not that it matters much commercial success to me never defines the greatness of an artists music. I mean look and the garbage we are inundated with these days which is largely commercially successful but sucks ass, the list is too long to name names but commercial cats you know who you are!
In 1994, 500 copies of a promotional EP called Clear Lake Audiotorium were released on clear vinyl and CD. The 6 track EP contained edited versions of tracks off of Buhloone Mindstate but also featured the tracks “Sh.Fe.MC’s” (Shocking Female MC’s) which was a collaboration with A Tribe Called Quest, and “Stix & Stonz” which featured old-school hip hop artists Grandmaster Caz, Tito of Fearless Four, Whipper Whip, LA Sunshine and Superstar. The EP was widely bootlegged afterwards.
1996 saw the release of the groups 4th studio album ‘Stakes Is High‘. The album continued to deal a lot with topics such as the state of hiphop, the commercialization of the hip-hop culture and criticism towards gangsta rap. This would cause great contempt with the late gangsta rapper 2Pac who would later retaliate on the song “Against All Odds” from his posthumous 1996 album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. Naughty By Nature also took serious offense to the record, creating a feud that has only recently died down. This album also saw a break from long time production collaborator Prince Paul, instead the majority of production is done by the the group themselves bar three tracks. The title track ‘Stakes Is High’ is produced by legendary production genius J Dilla.
Four years later, De La Soul announced that they would release a triple album series entitled “Art Official Intelligence” (or AOI). All three albums were intended to be released within a year, beginning with the release of Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump. This was followed by AOI: Bionix in late 2001. After this, however, the third and final album in the AOI series was never released. For the next two years, the only De La Soul releases were singles or remix compilations. David Jude Jolicoeur (Trugoy the Dove, Dave, Plug Two) stated in an interview that it usually takes about four years for the group to record an album, promote it with advertisements, touring and so on. The group was having trouble finishing the last AOI installment for many reasons, one of which being an ongoing struggle with Tommy Boy Records, which had been releasing the groups albums ever since their debut. The band was briefly featured in the video game PaRappa the Rapper 2 with the song “Say “I Gotta Believe!””, featuring Double, and also appeared on the soundtrack of the game. ( I tried to upload the video for this onto my youtube to share its amazingness with you, but they won’t let me, but click to watch here instead)
In 2004, De La Soul released a new full album ‘The Grind Date’ on Sanctuary/BMG Records because the venture between Tommy Boy and Warner Bros. Records was shut down and the group’s contract was shopped to the other WEA labels. The band thought about having its contract absorbed by Elektra Records, but it decided to leave WEA altogether. Although it was not the third AOI album fans had been expecting, the album was released to some critical acclaim and was well-received by most fans. The album features guests MF Doom, Ghostface Killah, Butta Verses and Flavor Flav, with production from 9th Wonder, Jake One, Madlib and more.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/12-de-la-soul-rock-co.-kane-flow-ft.-mf-doom.mp3″ text=” De La Soul – Rock Co. Kane Flow (ft MF DOOM)” dl=”0″]
In 2005, De La Soul collaborated with Gorillaz on the hit single “Feel Good Inc.,” which won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Collaboration (the first Grammy win in the group’s career) after being nominated for a total of three Grammys.
De La Soul also appeared on the LA Symphony single “Universal” and Posdnuos collaborated with the Portuguese MC Boss AC on a track called “Yo (Não Brinques Com Esta Merda)” (which translates to “Don’t Play with This Shit”).
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Boss-AC-05-Yo-Não-Brinques-Com-Esta-Merda-Ft.-Pos-Of-De-La-Soul.mp3″ text=”Boss AC – Yo (Não Brinques Com Esta Merda) Ft. Posdnuos ” dl=”0″]
In 2006, De La Soul released a mixtape of new and old songs titled Hip-Hop Mixtape. This album was covermount into British dance magazine Mixmag. The same year, De La Soul released another mixtape of new and old songs, this time titled ‘The Impossible: Mission TV Series – Pt. 1’ on its AOI Records label. De La Soul collaborated with the athletic sneaker giant Nike to produce two versions of the Nike Dunk under their skateboarding division, Nike SB. The sneakers were an instant hit and sold out at most retail stores. (though I’m not a Nike fan apart from vandals I still want these) De La Soul returned as a guest on the third Gorillaz studio album, Plastic Beach alongside Super Furry Animals front-man Gruff Rhys on the song “Superfast Jellyfish”. They were also apparently supposed to appear on a track entitled ‘Sloped Tropics’, though this song did not make the final cut for Plastic Beach.
De La Soul and Nike released Are You In?: Nike+ Original Run, which was the group’s first original material since The Impossible: Mission TV Series – Pt. 1. The album features Raheem DeVaughn as well as production from the Chicago based duo Flosstradamus. The recording is a single-track recording at 44 minutes, 17 seconds and was made available exclusively through iTunes. It is part of a continuing series of releases through the “Nike+ Sport Music” section of the online store. Group member Posdnuos said to ClashMusic.com of Are You In?, “It had to feel like a De La album that wasn’t just a poster for Nike – we wanted people to feel it was a great album on its own terms. We always think things through and put quality into anything we do – we never look to just take the cheque and run.”
Right Sampling time peeps if you’ve stuck with this monster post so far props to you! As a thank you there is also a little bit of FREENESS that you can download while you check out the sampling info and tracks. Our good friends at The Find Magazine, Redefinition Records and BoogieDown Breda came together to create the ‘Salutes’ EP of remixes from the likes of K-Murrdock, K-DEF, Astronote and DJ Stitches & BP. Click the links below for the Find Magazine Article and a download link. Many Props to the guys involved who have formed like Voltron and come up with a gem.!
As usual with the sampling section click the album images to learn about the artists sampled in more depth. With a group like this and many others that I have written about in this section is a minefield for me choosing the right tracks while also trying to give an overview of the artists work is an absolute face melter! So I decided to let our fellow facebook friends / readers choose their favorites and I’m going to do my best show off the sampling info from the some of he tracks suggested. Props to all who got involved. Don’t feel left out though I think I shall be doing more of this in the future! Enough of my chat lets see wot a gwannin.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/20-Me-Myself-And-I.mp3″ text=”De La Soul – Me Myself And I” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Edwin-Birdsong-Rapper-Dapper-Snapper.mp3″ text=”Edwin Birdsong – Rapper Dapper Snapper” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Funkadelic-Not-Just-Knee-Deep.mp3″ text=”Funkadelic – (Not Just) Knee Deep” dl=”0″]
The Edwin Birdsong track is used right from the start to provide the basic drum loop for the track, its also been used to similar effect by Panacea. The funkadelic track needs little explaining really, its a dope track you got to love a bit of Funkadelic. this track has been sampled by numerous other hip hop artists for years by the likes of EPMD and Digital Underground, but all with different effect.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/16.-.Stakes.Is_.High_.mp3″ text=”De La Soul – Stakes Is High” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/James-Brown-Mind-Power.mp3″ text=”James Brown – Mind Power” dl=”0″] …. [wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Swahililand-Ahmad-Jamal.mp3″ text=”Ahmad Jamal – Swahililand” dl=”0″]
The James Brown track is used very sparsely in this track by the late great J Dilla, by lifting just the word ‘vibes’ spoken by James. There are too many instances in which his music has been sampled so I’m a let that be. The Ahmad Jamal track is used perfectly giving the track its signature sound, the sample kicks in very late on in the song at about the 7 & a half minute mark, but its well worth the wait. This has also been sampled by others like Enz on the ‘F*** Money remix‘ on the Atmosphere Airlines album (dope album for real cop that isht), exactly the same sample is used but in a less prominent fashion. ‘Stakes Is High’ has also been sampled by many others…. do you know who by? Drop a comment!
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/07-ego-trippin-part-two.mp3″ text=”De La Soul – Ego Trippin Pt. 2″ dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/30-al_hirt-harlem_hendo_used_for_ego_trippin-ftd.mp3″ text=”Al Hirt – Harlem Hendoo” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/HEATWAVE-Ain-39t-No-Half-Steppin.mp3″ text=”Heatwave – Ain’t No Half Steppin” dl=”0″]
I love this track so much goodness going on allover. The Al Hirt track the sample is easy as pie to pick out, its a great standalone tune in itself from and amazing musician. Its been sample elsewhere and many of you will have heard it on The Root’s track ‘Stay Cool‘ but I think that its a recreation by the band rather than a specific sample (correct me if I’m wrong). Its also used by producer Damu The Fudgemunk for his track ‘Ego Trooping‘ but with a lot more subtle approach. Another pretty obvious sample with the Heatwave track, been sampled many a time over the years by others, check out some of the previous posts to find out more.
De La Soul – Oooh (see video for audio)
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/11-Lee-Dorsey-The-Greatest-Love.mp3″ text=”Lee Dorsey – The Greatest Love” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/The-Human-Fly.mp3″ text=”Lalo Schifrin – Human Fly” dl=”0″]
The Lee Dorsey sample kicks in right at the start being used very cleverly for such a tiny snippet of sound to provide the signature sound for the beat. nothing is forthcoming about any further sampling of this track by other musicians but Elvis Costello and Allan Toussaint have done a cover. The Lalo Schifrin track is used only briefly early on the track but slightly disguised by distortion to achieve the desired effect I suppose. but I’m sure you can pick it out.
De La Soul – Rock Co. Kane Flow (see audio from earlier in the article)
Production for this track is done by Jake One using the very beginning of the track to lift the sample. To me it sounds like he’s taken the title phrase from the song slowed it down to stretch it out then looped it up and laid the drum beat over. Simple but dope! Its also been used for Talib Kweli’s track ‘Hostile Gospel Pt1‘ but without any distortion.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/03-dj-honda-feat-de-la-soul-trouble-in-the-water.mp3″ text=”DJ Honda feat De La Soul – Trouble In The Water” dl=”0″]
Another one of my favorites even though only a feature by the group on the track, their rhyming content and stylr marries with it perfectly. the sample itself to my ears kicks in around the 5 minute mark. But from the start of the track its pretty obvious from the whole style of the tracks sound with the lovely xylophone, that your onto a winner.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/14-Say-No-Go.mp3″ text=”De La Soul – Say No Go” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/10-sly_stone-crossword_puzzle_used_for_say_no_go-ftd.mp3″ text=”Sly Stone – Crossword Puzzle” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/11-hall_and_oates-say_no_go_used_for_say_no_go-ftd.mp3″ text=”Hall & Oates – I Can’t Go For That” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/12-detroit_emeralds-baby_let_me_take_you_used_for_say_no_go-ftd.mp3″ text=”Detroit Emeralds – Baby Let Me Take You” dl=”0″]
OK last but not least on our little sample stint. All these samples are very self explanatory to pick up on where they are used respectively, just take a listen. The Hall & Oates track is my jam though I remember listening to this as a little kid and vibin out, and still do. But take a listen to the beginning drumbeat heard it before? If your an MF DOOM fanboy like myself you you will have on the track ‘The Final Hour‘, off of the King Geedorah album ‘Take Me To Your Leader‘ and on the track of the same name also. Along with a whole host of Fist Of The North Star samples! Aaaawww yeah those tracks speak to the nerd in me for real. Moving on from that little diversion. The Emeralds track is also very ill and the sample just pops out at you. I think its been sampled by Eazy E but can’t for the life of me remember which track hit me up if you know of it and any others.
Well that wraps it up for this special post hope you’ve enjoyed the full lowdown on such an amazing and all time favorite group of mine and I’m sure many of you also. Big shout outs to De La Soul and the rest of the Natives tongues crew. I urge you to check out the Salute EP its tight and a great way of paying homage to the gift that De La Soul has given us all. Nuff respect from me and the whole WIB family and if you haven’t guessed from my constantly mentioning it, dropping a comment in the box below is always welcome and encouraged.