208. De La Soul – “De La Soul Is Dead”

I was so disappointed with this album when it was released in 1991. I gave it repeated spins but could find very little of the magic of this crew’s debut effort. It has subsequently sat unplayed in the rack for nigh on 18 years.

Album Cover De La Soul De La Soul Is DeadAs such, I was intrigued to see how it would fall upon some relatively fresh ears.

The trio (or is it quartet with Prince Paul) were up against it trying to meet expectations. And they should be lauded for taking some risks. They embraced some unexpected disco grooves on the two bigger singles here (Rollerskatin’… and Ring, Ring, Ring). These two tracks feature some solid rhyming.

The other single (Millie…) tells a brutal of child abuse and is not alone in its more streetsmart tendencies (as Pos also discusses his crack addict brother elsewhere). Too many tracks creep into the flippant ‘life of a rap star’ domain, and the skits sound laboured.

It aint a bad album. It just isn’t De La enough. It could so easily be the output of their Native Tongues buddies.

Hmm, it’s probably best to saw the jury is no longer screaming for execution. But, they aren’t enamoured with the case for the defense either.

File under: Not quite dead, but less lively.

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4 responses to “208. De La Soul – “De La Soul Is Dead”

  1. what??? de la is dead is a great hip hop album…you obviiously didnt get the undertones..great concept album!!!

  2. You are an idiot.

  3. Unbelievable. This is an iconic hip hop album – De La Soul did away with their ‘hippies’ image and came with a raw, dense classic that is regarded widely as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time.

    Lol at how much you’ve misunderstood it. To quote Derrick above me ‘you are an idiot’

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