De La Soul - Classic or Dud?

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Is De La Soul dead? Do they deserve to be? Is their first album overrated and their second criminally underrated?

My name is Kenny, Thursday, 22 August 2002 19:10 (eighteen years ago) link

All first three albums are classic, and I would say that it's Buhloone Mind State that's underrated, not ...is Dead, as that seems pretty highly acclaimed. Stakes is High is relatively bland, but still a little fun. But I think BMS might be the most consistently good.

Nick A., Thursday, 22 August 2002 19:14 (eighteen years ago) link

the first album is a masterpiece in my book - modern classic and a benchmark of hip hop and sampling invention. i was less keen on what i heard on the second album (Keep The Faith etc.) but i'd say De La have been fairly consistent thru the 90s as well with strong tracks like 'Stakes Is High', 'Breakadawn' and 'Ego Trippin' springing to mind. I never checked out 'Art Official Intelligence' in full but the strength of the singles (Ooooh, All Good, Thru Ya City) indicated this was their best work since '3 Feet High & Rising' and confirms their status as reliable elder statesmen of the genre...the guest spot by Pos on Mint Royale's 'Show Me' last year was another winner for me

blueski, Thursday, 22 August 2002 19:16 (eighteen years ago) link

I have yet to hear a De La Soul album that wasn't classic.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 22 August 2002 19:19 (eighteen years ago) link

My opinion: First two albums: classic wonderful amazing, with DLSID edging out 3FH&R for Best in Genre. I was bored with Buhloone Mindstate, but I think Stakes Is High is the underrated one. I haven't fallen in love with the two AOI discs; but they're spunky and funny and energetic enough for me to think De La might have one more great record in them.

Matt C., Thursday, 22 August 2002 19:22 (eighteen years ago) link

A band I've always loved but never listened to as often as I should, oddly enough -- and when I mean 'should,' I mean in the sense that everything I've heard demanding relistening! Time to dig out those old CDs again, I sez.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 22 August 2002 19:35 (eighteen years ago) link

three feet high and rising was the first
hip-hop album i ever bought. buhloone
mind state was the second. it would be
cool to say bionix was the last one. but
it wasn't. it was good, though. the slick
rick one. 'held down.' 'bionix.' those
other ones.

hip-hop people reviewing bionix all said
it sucked. indie rock type people reviewing
it said it was another classic from de
la soul. those are the only people who
reviewed it.

DK, Thursday, 22 August 2002 19:46 (eighteen years ago) link

i think the song that got them in all the trouble "Transmissions Live From Mars"... instrumental downtempo (the imfamous Turtles sample) with French instructional dialogue over the top...

is STILL a really nice listen. if you take that song for face value away from the rest of the album, shows a real weird foreshadow of things Mo Wax/Beastie/Beck (mostly things I never cared too much for), but that weird international downtempo weird sample... it seemed to preface all that Cibo Matto/Stereolab/Stereototal (slow) modern rock-hop.

Not too big on De La Soul though; however, check this song out again if you haven't recently.

gygax!, Thursday, 22 August 2002 19:59 (eighteen years ago) link

great albums, terrible live show. astonishingly boring and full of all the pointless posturing and entouragism that de la soul has always seemed to stand against. strange.

fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Thursday, 22 August 2002 21:04 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm with Dan Perry on this one

M Matos (M Matos), Thursday, 22 August 2002 21:25 (eighteen years ago) link

Back in '91/'92 they were one of the first hip-hop acts I really got into since my RUN-D.M.C.-soundtracked l'il-brat-hood days were washed aside by a torrent of Classic Rock Radio Immersion. I mean, you give a sugar-addled spaz-kid high school freshman a cassette tape that includes a skit featuring the phrase "what'd'you know about music, hamster penis?" and a song about a molested student out for revenge against a Macy's Santa and some samples from "Grease" and a great sex-rhymes track (with those "What's that? In your pocket?" samples -- oh damn) and Kermit imitations and beatdown anthems laid upon tapdancing music and "Bitties In The BK Lounge" and "A Roller Skating Jam Named 'Saturdays'"!!!! well you got an all-time favorite album for life, at least if what happened to me is any indication. 3 Feet High was great too but De La Soul Is Dead meant more to me back then than any new release album besides Nevermind -- and I haven't listened to Nevermind in years.
Boy, I got a little out of hand there.

Nate Patrin, Friday, 23 August 2002 01:32 (eighteen years ago) link

Despite "Eye Know" and "Roller Skating" in particular, never really got them until AOI. The early stuff seemed too crude in terms of sonics and subject matter; the middle stuff seemed to have ditched their vitality. Mosaic Thump brought back their fun side and mixed it with supersmooth sageness; Bionix is simply the sexiest hip-hop album ever.

B:Rad, Friday, 23 August 2002 02:24 (eighteen years ago) link

Count me in as someone who loved Bionix - the opening trio of "Bionix", "Baby Phat" and "Simply" are awesomely zing-like, both shiveringly tactile and open-hearted, generous, funny. I also like the generally-panned R&B-ish tracks - "Special" and "Am I Worthy Of You" are just so slinktastic.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Friday, 23 August 2002 08:33 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic. I even bought the "edited" version of the last one, by mistake, and liked it just dandy. I still think BUHLOONE is more consistently great, yeah, but the first was the most hyper, and the best.

matt riedl (veal), Friday, 23 August 2002 14:12 (eighteen years ago) link

Great albums, but my main memory of De La Soul is how out of place Ring Ring Ring sounded at the time from both rock and rap at the time.

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Friday, 23 August 2002 14:26 (eighteen years ago) link

Don't be put off by their (sometimes deserved) rep for slack live shows. The most recent First Avenue gig was as funny and sweaty and unselfconscious as any rap show I've seen.

I played "Tryin'" before my brother's wedding a couple months ago, just to calm my nerves on a stressful day, and I damn near started to weep. The song is about being ready for the rest of your life, by guys obviously not ready for the rest of their lives.

All the records are great, but De La is greater than ever.

Pete Scholtes, Friday, 23 August 2002 19:17 (eighteen years ago) link

_De La Soul Is Dead_ is one of the greatest albums ever recorded. Period. Everything on it is just classic (yes, even "Keepin' The Faith").

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 23 August 2002 19:22 (eighteen years ago) link

(Wait, City Pages? I MISS THAT PAPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 23 August 2002 19:28 (eighteen years ago) link

i totally forgot to mention 'Rollerskatin' Jam Named Saturday' which is possibly better than anything on 'Three Feet High & Rising' - except 'Say No Go' and 'Transmitting Live From Mars' perhaps

blueski, Friday, 23 August 2002 19:31 (eighteen years ago) link

Having only heard Bionix and the debut, pure classic. I have a feeling the rest of their work is just as brilliant, and it will be obtained eventually.

Vinnie (vprabhu), Friday, 23 August 2002 20:09 (eighteen years ago) link

Dan, you an old Minneapolis guy, too?!

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 24 August 2002 21:54 (eighteen years ago) link

You didn't know, M? Dan's got more Minneapolis area stories than you could imagine -- it's where he went to high school and some time before, I believe.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 24 August 2002 22:21 (eighteen years ago) link

Holy fuck! No wonder I like the guy so much!

M Matos (M Matos), Saturday, 24 August 2002 22:23 (eighteen years ago) link

matos he hung in my hood iirc

Josh (Josh), Saturday, 24 August 2002 23:40 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, I lived in the Twin Cities area from the age of 1 onwards. I went to high school in Hastings (so it is more St. Paul than Minneapolis). I can tell you all kinds of fucked up stories about that town.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Sunday, 25 August 2002 12:12 (eighteen years ago) link

I'd say the AOI albums are a major development in hip hop: mature music that isn't sapped of its wit or energy, and that doesn't devolve into crankery (PE) or self-parody (LL).

The Twin Cities hereby cast all their votes for "classic."

Keith Harris (kharris1128), Sunday, 25 August 2002 13:56 (eighteen years ago) link

ha I never voted! but I like de la is dead so you can have mine.

I'd swear there's a thread around here about mature hip-hop that I might have even started but I can't find it.

Josh (Josh), Sunday, 25 August 2002 14:17 (eighteen years ago) link

Sorry Josh, didn't mean to leave you out. What was the upshot of the "mature hip hop" thread?

Keith Harris (kharris1128), Sunday, 25 August 2002 14:20 (eighteen years ago) link

five years pass...

notions, soothed the mood

gabbneb, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 17:29 (twelve years ago) link

the first album kicks the 2nd's ass 8 ways to tuesday

gabbneb, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 17:31 (twelve years ago) link

"'De La Soul is Dead' is a better album than '3 Feet High...'" is the worst CHALLENGING OPINION in music criti

Dom Passantino, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 17:34 (twelve years ago) link

three feet high and rising was the first
hip-hop album i ever bought. buhloone
mind state was the second. it would be
cool to say bionix was the last one. but
it wasn't. it was good, though. the slick
rick one. 'held down.' 'bionix.' those
other ones.

hip-hop people reviewing bionix all said
it sucked. indie rock type people reviewing
it said it was another classic from de
la soul. those are the only people who
reviewed it.

-- DK, Thursday, August 22, 2002 3:46 PM (5 years ago) Bookmark Link

o.O

and what, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 18:16 (twelve years ago) link

i had a thing for making paper since papier-mache

gabbneb, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 18:16 (twelve years ago) link

dude you were the one that told me 3 Ft High was dylan's first rap album

Alex in Baltimore, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 18:17 (twelve years ago) link

I heard De La Soul Is Dead in its entirety before I heard Three Feet High and Rising in its entirety, which is part of the reason why I hold this allegedly controversial CHALLENGING OPINION.

HI DERE, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 18:20 (twelve years ago) link

its totally not a challenging opinion wtf people - but buhloone mind state is better than both of them anyway

i say this as someone who has listed to those three albums more than anyone on this board im sure

jhøshea, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 18:26 (twelve years ago) link

production on Buhloone is less unique than on 1st 2. They're all great. 2nd>>>1st>>>3rd.

Granny Dainger, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 18:28 (twelve years ago) link

buhloone mind state remains my pick too

PappaWheelie V, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 18:29 (twelve years ago) link

3>2>1

but theyre all great obv

jhøshea, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 18:31 (twelve years ago) link

1st > 3rd > 2nd

I heard De La Soul Is Dead in its entirety before I heard Three Feet High and Rising in its entirety, which is part of the reason why I hold this allegedly controversial CHALLENGING OPINION.

this is what I assume of anyone who holds same

gabbneb, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 18:34 (twelve years ago) link

lol no i had 3 feet around when it cam out it kinda marked my devolution from someone who just listened to the radio and had a few albums to a music obsessive. i remember seeing the video for me myself and i on bet at a friends house and being all wtf is this must have! then dead was the last tape i had before i got a cd player. i taped ringringring off the radio before the album came out and was all wtf at the new sound but it grew on me fast. then when buhloon came out it was just <3<3<3

3 feet is nice but they got sooo much better at everything

jhøshea, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 18:55 (twelve years ago) link

3 feet is nice but they got sooo much better at everything

I pretty much agree with this.

HI DERE, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 18:59 (twelve years ago) link

so do I. 1st and 2nd are both more "fun" (having guru guest on a track will do that, though har har). 3rd I guess a lil TOO good ie refined.

Granny Dainger, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 19:03 (twelve years ago) link

(tho i guess having biz guest cancels out guru)

Granny Dainger, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 19:06 (twelve years ago) link

omglol i am watching de la videos on youtube omg!

jhøshea, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 19:11 (twelve years ago) link

http://static1.videosift.com/thumbs/d/el/De_La_Soul_Me_Myself_And_I.jpg

this hair whaaaa!

jhøshea, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 19:13 (twelve years ago) link

2>4>1=3

jaxon, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 19:14 (twelve years ago) link

For a long time I wrote off the AOI Bionix lps, but on repeat listen I think they are tight. I saw them perform at DEMF in 01 and they were great.

U-Haul, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 19:15 (twelve years ago) link

they got better at smooth jazz soul jams. but the 1st album is alive in a way those that follow are not and it's got the best wordplay by far. also, i like hippies and the color yellow.

gabbneb, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 19:16 (twelve years ago) link

Buhloone Mind State is better than the first two. It's like desert island material.

Euler, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 19:18 (twelve years ago) link

I've read some of your reviews and could say the same.

candyman, Wednesday, 17 February 2021 09:49 (two weeks ago) link

Also arent you the guy who said hip hop is jazz? Lol.

candyman, Wednesday, 17 February 2021 10:10 (two weeks ago) link

arms too short to box with god ^^^

Ray Cooney as "Crotch" (stevie), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 10:46 (two weeks ago) link

^^^lyrical references too hackneyed to really zing

you guys can pile on me, i dont mind, glad to help with the community bonding on this site, and i'll admit sure my buhloone reading is a bit off (was going on memory really, and a song like i am i be) but i stand by the notion that they have boring voices. i get that saying such a revered group has 'boring' voices might irk when worded in that way (low key might have been fairer) but compared to rap voices like say (and im only using others from the same era to be fair), q tip, kool keith, wu-tang, snoop, souls of mischief, del, de la are hardly the most interesting vocal characters. id say the same about gza, mos def and plenty other rappers who still make good songs and good albums.

candyman, Wednesday, 17 February 2021 12:44 (two weeks ago) link

well, "boring" is a pejorative and "low key" isn't. they mean two different things.

as far as the "pile on". i think i tried to engage with you earnestly on the "limitations of hip hop" thread until it was clear you didn't actually want a discussion about it. frankly, everyone here has been on the internet a long ass time and the way you post in a sort of professorial, condescending tone about black artists (here, limitations of hip hop, the prince thread) and how they lack in your eyes, puts up a lot of people's antennas here as signals of being ways of saying racially problematic things in code, let's say. you also don't really regard anyone else's opinion on hip hop or anything else, that's pretty clear.

also it is a community, so if you don't have a long history of posting and people understanding where you're coming from, you're not going to get as much benefit of the doubt.

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 13:52 (two weeks ago) link

imagine thinking GZA and Mos Def have boring voices. Not even sure what "boring" means to you at this point.

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 15:27 (two weeks ago) link

in fairness, maybe candyman thinks their voices can drill holes through things

Hello Nice FBI Lady (DJP), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 15:31 (two weeks ago) link

Maybe a non-boring voice is supposed to sound like Bobcat Goldthwaite's.

meticulously crafted, socially responsible, morally upsta (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 15:36 (two weeks ago) link

imagining now the emo philips of rap

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 15:37 (two weeks ago) link

so... Danny Brown?

Hello Nice FBI Lady (DJP), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 15:44 (two weeks ago) link

CHECK

That's not really my scene (I'm 41) (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 16:20 (two weeks ago) link

just sort of making a general point here, not responding to candyman directly, but posdnous has an incredible rap voice, flat out. immediately distinctive, conveys his personality that frames his poetic style w a kind of casual profundity that's impossible to replicate

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 21:42 (two weeks ago) link

am i a fan of pos' rap style bc i know when i hear his voice the music is going to be good, or was the music good because of his rap style? a contradiction at the heart of great art ofc

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 21:43 (two weeks ago) link

Also arent you the guy who said hip hop is jazz? Lol.

― candyman, Wednesday, February 17, 2021 3:10 AM (eleven hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

d-40 still otm here

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 21:49 (two weeks ago) link

pops used to say it reminded him of bebop

Ray Cooney as "Crotch" (stevie), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 22:49 (two weeks ago) link

don't you know that things go in cycles?

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 23:15 (two weeks ago) link

posdnous has an incredible rap voice, flat out. immediately distinctive, conveys his personality that frames his poetic style w a kind of casual profundity that's impossible to replicate

otm, close thread

meticulously crafted, socially responsible, morally upsta (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 23:21 (two weeks ago) link

Apart from insisting on your poorly defended opinion, candyman, I'd be more offended if ILM mattered to more than, like, 50 people. De La Soul, whose classic albums aren't streaming on Spotify, doesn't need any more wiping out.

meticulously crafted, socially responsible, morally upsta (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 23:25 (two weeks ago) link

"you post in a sort of professorial, condescending tone about black artists (here, limitations of hip hop, the prince thread) and how they lack in your eyes, puts up a lot of people's antennas here as signals of being ways of saying racially problematic things in code"

im fine with being thought of as being condescending towards hip hop, i have a love hate relationship with it. i can accept that. condescending towards all black artists? thats kind of weird. its prob more that the musicians i love are mostly black artists, and i am a critical person. i mean, i posted in the 'is jack white indefensible' thread here and made comments that are hardly full of adulation about his solo material.

anyway, i dont want to make this thread about me. ill leave you all to it.

candyman, Thursday, 18 February 2021 09:59 (two weeks ago) link

actually, one thing that does bother me about your post is this specious idea of 'racially problematic things in code'. you are aware that there are many schools of thought within black music, that liking black music does not mean you have to like it *all*, arent you? that you can quite literally have a branford and a wynton in the same family? maybe think about that before you throw around ding-ding allegations.

candyman, Thursday, 18 February 2021 13:31 (two weeks ago) link

i thought you were leaving

(•̪●) (carne asada), Thursday, 18 February 2021 13:42 (two weeks ago) link

I'm just describing the dynamic of what's happening

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 February 2021 13:48 (two weeks ago) link

you're so fuckin smart I'm surprised you don't catch on

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 February 2021 13:49 (two weeks ago) link

The breadth of Black music is best described by contrasting two siblings who are both jazz musicians, I agree

Hello Nice FBI Lady (DJP), Thursday, 18 February 2021 14:07 (two weeks ago) link

if that's all you draw from a comparison of those two jazz musicians, then idk what to tell you. wynton is a big rap hater and jazz traditionalist, brandon was at one point big rap ally and collabo'd with public enemy, dj premier, etc etc.

"you're so fuckin smart I'm surprised you don't catch on"

i never said i was smart. youre just reading something into the way i type. its funny actually as i often read posts here from ppl in this forum and think they reek of pomposity, in-crowd smugness and self-satisfaction! so maybe, think of it as me just trying to fit in :)

candyman, Thursday, 18 February 2021 14:42 (two weeks ago) link

argh, auto correct. *branford

candyman, Thursday, 18 February 2021 14:43 (two weeks ago) link

i often read posts here from ppl in this forum and think they reek of pomposity, in-crowd smugness and self-satisfaction!

maybe read less of these and try some other threads?

That's not really my scene (I'm 41) (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 18 February 2021 15:04 (two weeks ago) link

sounds like a plan.

candyman, Thursday, 18 February 2021 15:08 (two weeks ago) link

*this forum should be 'this thread'

candyman, Thursday, 18 February 2021 15:11 (two weeks ago) link

i'm not going to argue that ILX (and ILM in particular) can't be an insular community but the general assimilation of newcomers around here often starts from OH YEAH HERE'S MY OPINION and evolves into non-confrontational conversation; why not skip the line?

That's not really my scene (I'm 41) (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 18 February 2021 15:12 (two weeks ago) link

what a cocksnot.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 18 February 2021 17:48 (two weeks ago) link

crocker!

(•̪●) (carne asada), Thursday, 18 February 2021 17:51 (two weeks ago) link

HOOOOOOOOLY... pic.twitter.com/5ovLNhePvC

— Dee Phunk (@DeePhunk) February 18, 2021

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 February 2021 18:00 (two weeks ago) link

Teen Titans Go is really the best

Hello Nice FBI Lady (DJP), Thursday, 18 February 2021 18:20 (two weeks ago) link

they spelled "Joliceur" and "Posdnuos" correctly but couldn't get "Pasemaster," tsk

stilt in the wings (sic), Thursday, 18 February 2021 18:23 (two weeks ago) link

would've been very amused if they pulled back to reveal an animated prince paul watching this whole scene from a distance with a sour look on his face

is the evil music stealing alien named Srehthob Renraw?

That's not really my scene (I'm 41) (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 18 February 2021 19:40 (two weeks ago) link

Yobymmot

stilt in the wings (sic), Thursday, 18 February 2021 19:48 (two weeks ago) link

"what a cocksnot."

does your mum allow you to use the internet?

candyman, Thursday, 18 February 2021 21:07 (two weeks ago) link

obviously, anal wart.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 18 February 2021 21:08 (two weeks ago) link

now i have a question for you:

how many times did the batmobile catch a flat?

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 18 February 2021 21:09 (two weeks ago) link

how many feathers are on a perdew (?) chicken?

candyman, Thursday, 18 February 2021 21:13 (two weeks ago) link

nada nunca.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 18 February 2021 21:21 (two weeks ago) link

"oh wow, 100 new answers about the great rap group de la soul, this should be fun!" i thought to myself before i actually started reading the posts in this thread

tiwa-nty one savage (voodoo chili), Thursday, 18 February 2021 21:28 (two weeks ago) link

lol

That's not really my scene (I'm 41) (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 18 February 2021 21:39 (two weeks ago) link

don't even

maf you one two (maffew12), Thursday, 18 February 2021 21:41 (two weeks ago) link

def worst revive of the year so far

(•̪●) (carne asada), Thursday, 18 February 2021 21:48 (two weeks ago) link

i mean that TTG clip was dope but

(•̪●) (carne asada), Thursday, 18 February 2021 21:49 (two weeks ago) link

thanks. i can finally say i was a part of something noetworthy.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 18 February 2021 22:29 (two weeks ago) link

that no one clowned candyman for being british tells me ILM has evolved <3

rob, Thursday, 18 February 2021 22:45 (two weeks ago) link


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