De La Soul
While other Hip Hop acts have come and gone, De La just seems to keep getting better...
18 Mar 2006
It's hard to stay relevant in Hip Hop for more then a blink of the eye these days, so the fact that legendary Hip Hop crew De La Soul have been holding it down for 17 years and counting says a lot. While other Hip Hop acts have come and gone, De La just seems to keep getting better - a testament to the talent and creativity that the group (comprised of MCs Posdanous and Dave, and DJ Mase) have displayed on each of their 7 critically acclaimed albums. Now, with a new LP in the works and an upcoming tour to New Zealand on the horizon, it's clear that De La Soul won't be fading into the background any time soon.
De La Soul first burst onto the Hip Hop scene with the release of their classic debut, 1989's 3 Feet High & Rising, which showcased the trio's witty and eclectic approach to making music. The group was quickly earmarked as being the next big thing in Hip Hop, something which came as a surprise to them. "We just did Hip Hop for the fun and the love" says Posdanous. "We never thought we would be able to affect the amount of people that we did. We were just happy to have our music played on the radio in (our hometown of) New York, let alone New Zealand or anywhere else."
Despite the high expectations that were placed upon them, Pos says that De La never felt pressure to keep making records like 3 Feet High. "We didn't purposely say 'let's make a different style of Hip Hop (on our later albums)" he notes. "We knew from the jump that we were always trying to grow and show what we had learnt through our music. In the long run I think it paid off. Yeah, sales dropped, and people didn't understand it at first; but I think if we were to come out with another album exactly the same as 3 Feet High, we wouldn't be together any more."
With De La's last album, 2004's The Grind Date, being hailed as one of the group's strongest efforts to date, New Zealand fans are eagerly anticipating the group's upcoming New Zealand tour. Pos says the group are looking forward to returning, and promises that their live show will be something to behold as they take things in a fresh, new direction. "We've never stayed attached to one way of doing things or one recipe" he says in conclusion. "We don't rule out anything... [If we did], we wouldn't be blessed to still be able to make music and come to New Zealand and perform."