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De La Soul


De La Soul Bio

One of the most influential hip hop groups the world has ever known.

Kelvin Mercer, David Jude Jolicoeur and Vincent a title="Mason" href="">Masonare De la Soul – one of the most influential hip hop groups the world has ever known. Since first coming together in a New York high school in 1987, the threesome has contributed greatly to the development of jazz rap and various other alternate hip-hop sub genres including their own ‘flower power’ style.

Instead of rhyming about guns, violence and drugs, De La Soul relied on witty couplets, quirky found sound sampling and playful verbiage for their sound. Incredibly, their lucid hip-hop vision was already fully formed by the time of their debut album, Three Feet High and Rising, released way back in1989.

Considered a modern day masterpiece, the album is the band’s best selling work, even being awarded ‘Album of the Year’ by NME – the notoriously rock and guitar leaning weekly. It toyed with positive-minded, good-natured Afrocentric lyrics, jazz influenced beats and eclectic sampling of the sort also championed by peers like Tribe Called Quest and Jungle Brothers, with singles like “”Me Myself and I” and “The Magic Number” becoming international hits. To this day, the album is often included in all time greatest album lists by a wide variety of music publications.

In the years since that first opus, there have been a number of full length albums such as the more mature De La Soul is Dead, which took aim at the violent and seedy direction in which hip-hop was heading at that time. Despite the more serious message, an absurd sense of humour and acute social commentary has always permeated the work of De La Soul, as well as helping to pave the way for an infinite number of alternative rap groups in their wake.

More recent projects include collaborations with contemporary bands like Daman Albarn’s Gorillaz (in fact, it was for their vocal contribution to “Feel Good Inc”, the band won their first and only Grammy having been nominated three times previously) as well as continuous touring of all the major countries, clubs and festivals in the world.

Despite being champions of a sound away from the hardcore rap norm, De La Soul have always been uncomfortable with the hippie hip-hop tag as their sound has continued to evolve in unpredictable and often subtle ways. Recent remixes and original works for the likes of Nike and The Impossible: Mission TV Series is only testament to that.