Hip Hop Legends: De La Soul


De La Soul is a Grammy Award-winning hip hop group from Amityville, New York. They are best known for their eclectic sampling and quirky, surreal lyrics, and their contributions to the evolution of the jazz rap subgenre. The members are Kelvin Mercer, David Jude Jolicoeur  and Vincent Mason. The three formed the group in high school and caught the attention of producer Paul Huston with a demo tape of the song “Plug Tunin'”. Prince Paul was also sometimes referred to as Plug Four.

When “De La Soul Is Dead” was finally released in the spring of 1991, it received decidedly mixed reviews, and its darker, more introspective tone didn’t attract as big an audience as its lighter predecessor. The album peaked at number 26 pop on the U.S. charts, number 24 R&B, and spawned only one minor hit, the number 22 R&B single “Ring Ring Ring. De la Soul worked hard on their third album, finally releasing the record in late 1993.

The result, entitled “Buhloone Mindstate” was harder and funkier than either of its predecessors, yet it didn’t succumb to gangsta rap. Though it received strong reviews, the album quickly fell off the charts after peaking at number 40, and only “Breakadawn” broke the R&B Top 40. The same fate greeted the trio’s fourth album, Stakes Is High. Released in the summer of 1996, the record was well reviewed, yet it didn’t find a large audience and quickly disappeared from the charts.

Four years later, De La initiated what promised to be a three-album series with the release of “Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump”; though reviews were mixed, it was greeted warmly by record buyers, debuting in the Top Ten. The second title in the series,” AOI: Bionix,” even featured a video hit with “Baby Phat,” but Tommy Boy and the trio decided to end their relationship soon after.

They had their ups and down but this group is still one of hip hops legends and get hipped on your Hip Hop history and  I leave you with De La Soul’s ‘Buddy’

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