Saturday, March 12, 2011

De La Soul deserves mad props

De La Soul is well respected in the Hip Hop community because of their breaking music that they created. Their First Album Three Feet High and Rising is a bonafide classic! It was produced by Prince Paul and it contains nuggets of wonderfullness. This album was unique in several ways. The producer sampled from so many genres including rock and roll, jazz, blues, and even school house rock.

While the album sampled from many of the musical greats, the art was also in what sampled were used and how they were mashed up and mixed. This album was done before the era of copyright attorneys that were suing because a baseline was borrowed. The end result is a a true masterpiece.

De La Soul was so ahead of their time, lyrically and musically. They were talking about peace and love and unity and music and they did it in a suggestive manner. Oftentimes their lyrics were like riddles. I can only liken it to a monet painting that suggested the imagery with paint instead of producing ultra detailed imagery. That they didn't sound like everyone, I think, alienated them from many hip hop "purists" who saw them as too alternative to be considered real hip hop. They didn't grow up in "the hood" or in dire poverty and they didn't pretend to either. They were just some young men from the New York burbs that had a gift for music and creativity.

They had a huge influence on people like A Tribe Called Quest, Jungle Brothers, Digable Planets and so many more. It has taken 20 years from the masses to finally recognize how talented and original this group was. I know that many people refuse to listen to rap but I urge you, if you are a fan of music; of art, to listen to De La Soul and I believe that you will be pleasantly surpised. I promise you this: It wont sound like anything that is played on the radio today. This is a good thing.


  1. I love that you brought them up! I loved listening to their music. Every time I think Digable Planets, I just think of "Cool Like That", though I know they must have tons of other great songs. Thanks for taking me back!

  2. "Me, Myself and I"---I listened to them a lot too! Now I have to go in search of the old cd I have of their music! lol

  3. I never bought any of their albums, but I enjoyed their music. Digable Planets were cool, too. I miss hip-hop like this.

  4. You got me heading to google to suss out some of their music. I'm here going " Oh yea! I remember them. They were funky! " Going to go update my ipod shortly...thanks for the throw-back/flash back.

  5. You've convinced me Israel to check them out more thoroughly. I loved your line "nuggets of wonderfulness". Interesting how ground breaking artists are often ignored because they don't follow fashion or fad, but eventually the mastery of their art shines.
    Well written post and I enjoyed it immensely.

  6. Yes, De La Soul does deserve mad props. They raised the bar for conscious hip hop music. On the contrary, most of today's rappers have lowered it.

    Followed your blog, make sure you stop by Alee's Perspective sometime!