209. De La Soul – “Buhloone Mindstate”

The path taken by De La Soul is a fascinating one.

Album Cover De La Soul buhloone mindstate

Bedevilled with idolatry of their debut and its breakthrough status, they then struggled to match these expectations.

As I argued, the followup was a pretty much a weak facsimile of the firstborn.

This third effort saw them abandoning the undergrad cartoony tendencies (i.e. the skits are gone, as are the attempts to label a generation).

In their place is a more consistent focus on the rhyme and the groove. Most of tracks here are lyrics-heavy and they are partying over more upbeat, jazzy beats and melodies.

It all works very effectively, yet fails to capture me completely. Part of the problem is the loss of distinctiveness. The lads bring in a whole range of friends (including some much-needed female accompaniment), but many of the guests just highlight the extent to which De La have spawned a generation of imitators, all capable of laying down these laidback rhymes. While they’re noticeable in the absence, any of the Native Tongues buddies (i.e. Jungle Brothers, Tribe Called Quest) could have delivered this.

I will occasionally spin this disc for a bit of inoffensive background funk-hop, but it doesn’t raise my pulse in any sense.

File under: A Monday afternoon state of mind

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s