Tuesday, September 7, 2010


de la soul was the first hip-hop group I ever saw in concert. I've written about this before: they opened for Living Colour at The ("New") Ritz in New York City, this was probably about 1989.  They weren't that great, but I don't feel bad saying that, they know that their first shows weren't great.  When I interviewed them a few years ago, I told them about that show and they were like, "oh no!" But I've seen them about ten times since then, and they are always great.

When hip-hop first came out, it was so radical.  But in many ways it was pretty conservative (and these days, I'd argue that it is very conservative). But even back in the late '80s (the heyday), mainstream hip-hop didn't know what to make of these guys, and that has sort of followed them through their career. In my mind, they should have been huge, but it didn't happen.  Still, I rate them over almost any group (hip-hop, rock, whatever) in any genre. I recently noticed that they are going to be playing Madison Square Garden soon.  I was like, "WHAT?" It turns out that they are performing with Gorillaz, with whom they have collaborated twice. It would be great if people realized how great de la is and they got to headline a place half that big.  I am not a huge fan of head Gorilla Damon Albarn, but I give him lots of credit for putting de la on his albums.
  • The Classic Album: hell, there's like three... 1989's Three Feet High and Rising, 1991's de la soul is dead, 1993's Buhloone Mindstate
  • Other Great Ones: 1996's Stakes Is High, 2000's Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump
  • The Compilaton: 2003's Timeless: Singles Collection
  • Look For:  Their Tom Petty sampling collaboration with Teenage Fanclub, "Fallin'," from the 1993 Judgement Night soundtrack.

No comments: