“De La Soul from the soul, black medallions, no gold” (from the song “Buddy”) – that says it all, it was a branding message. De La Soul represented something different than the gold chains and track suits that were almost the uniform for rap artists in the late 1980’s. They projected a clever nerdy approach rather than the always hard and often gangsta approach of many artists of the day. They also helped birth the focus on afro-centricity with songs like “Me, Myself and I” and “Ghetto Thang,” along with their Native Tongue compatriots. De La Soul were billed as the hippies of hip-hop when they released their first album “Three Feet High and Rising” in 1989, yet they never really embraced that whole image. This is part of the reason that they came with “De La Soul is Dead” in their 1991 follow up album. De La made you feel good, while grooving to their multi-layered samples and jazz fused tracks, while making you think and oftentimes laugh at the same time. That’s why I consider De La Soul one of the most talented and influential groups of hip-hop. With songs like “Me, Myself and I,” I was jamming and felt good about it, without having to excuse the message in the song. The members of the De La are Kelvin Mercer (Posdnuos), David Jude Jolicoeur (Trugoy) and Vincent Mason (Maseo). They hit us with 4 classic albums from ’89 through the 90’s starting with “Three Feet High and Rising,” De La Soul is Dead,” “Buhloone Mindstate” and “Stakes is High,” with hit songs throughout. Unfortunately, due to the shenanigans at their old label, most of their classic songs are not available on digital platforms – a true shame for us and them! Nevertheless, here are my Top 5.
Check out my Top 5 from the De La Soul:
- “Me, Myself and I”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8-9mY-JACM
- “Buddy” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWIfqPLFnis
- “A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tu-qDHSSZo
- “Ring Ring Ring (Hey Ha)”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-JOVXZePQk
- “Stakes is High”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzOOCnkUlnA
#Classic Hip Hop