De La Soul

Hip-hop innovators De La Soul played a key role in extending the parameters of rap with adventurous samples and clever rhymes which had a major impact on subsequent rap artists, most notably Black Eyed Peas and Mos Def. Founded by Posdnuos (real name: Kelvin Mercer), Trugoy the Dove (David Jolicoeur), and Maseo (Vincent Mason), the trio first got together in school in 1988. They were discovered by producer Paul Huston - aka Prince Paul - who went on to work on their 1989 debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, which was noted to have re-written the rap formula with classic tracks like “Me Myself and I,” “The Magic Number,” and “Buddy.” Unlike most other rap artists, De La Soul rarely cursed, choosing instead to propagate love and peace rather than violence, tackled drug abuse and poverty and sampled the likes of The Turtles, Johnny Cash, James Brown, and The Monkees. Their second album De La Soul Is Dead (1991) went even further in attacking the violent messages of hip-hop and they went on to broaden their style but never recreated the success of 3 Feet High and Rising. In 2005, they collaborated with Gorillaz on the hit single “Feel Good Inc.” and won a 2006Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Collaboration. They retained the relationship with Gorillaz, guesting on the track “Superfast Jellyfish,” which was taken from their third album Plastic Beach. They released Are You In?: Nike+ Original Run in 2009 as an exclusive mixtape, consisting of one track 44-minutes long. And the Anonymous Nobody was released in 2015 after a highly successful Kickstarter campaign saw them achieve their goal in less than a day. The album was nominated for a Grammy in the category for Best Rap Album. They teamed up with Gorillaz once again in 2017 for an album track on Humanz and in 2018, they recorded the track “It Runs Through Me” for Tom Misch's album Geography. While De La Soul released a total of nine albums during their career, 3 Feet High and Rising continued to be their best-selling album. However, legal issues with samples and their label prevented their albums from being released digitally on social media platforms. After several years of disputes between the band and their labels, the group regained ownership of their music in 2021. In January 2023, the group announced that their music would finally be available digitally later in the year and a big reissue campaign was set in motion. Shortly after that announcement was made, David Jolicoeur – better known as Trugoy the Dove – passed away on February 12, 2023, at the age of 54.

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Stations Featuring De La Soul

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