I will admit to you now that I am completely hypnotized by rap music videos. They are slick and colorful four minute commercials that place all kinds of products from footwear to luxury accessories to “lifestyle choices”. I see Black men my age driving cars with manufacturers names that I cant even begin to pronounce. and diamond and platinum encrusted objects unworthy of such adornment. And the women… I see women presented as rare and elite because their proportions mimic those of racehorses.

And then I get depressed, not to mention frustrated as I see what my simple job provides for me as luxury is barely enough money to pay this goddamn cable bill to watch these godforsaken videos. If I wanted to be a rapper at this late stage in my life my name would most surely be BROKEY DEE. But I can’t rap. I just like to listen to it. Actually nowadays, I watch it more than I hear it. If an artist doesn’t have a music video aired incessantly on the VIACOM controlled MTV/BET networks(that’s right kids, the same company owns both
outlets) then I don’t even know they are alive.

Such was the case with DE LA SOUL. This trio of rappers from Long Island are the fathers of what some rap critics have labeled as ‘backpacker’ rap music. Their debut album ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ remains a classic milestone in rap music due to their avant garde rhyme flow and witty, inventive production. The group has managed to remain intact and in the studio despite the whims of fickle fans like myself. After their performance at Central Park’s Summstage in 2003 they seemed to fall off the map again. I have only myself to blame
since the only points I drew on that map were NAS, JAY-Z and 50CENT. It turns out that the PLUGS were still busy doing what they do best. Making real Hip-Hop music. Late last year they released their 16th album(first under the Sanctuary Urban imprint) called ‘The Grind Date’. This album is the perfect antidote for those of us who are sick of the poison pen lyrics from the DIPSETTERs, G-UNITs and STATE PROPERTYs that dominate rap music. The beats are hard, yet still mellifluous, with the familiar DE LA sound without becoming redundant. Rarely do I tell you to buy an album because I would much rather that you spent your money coming to one of my parties, but in this case I suggest that you buy the latest DE LA SOUL album. That is, as soon as you can tear yourself away from watching the latest 50CENT video…
‘P.I.M.P.’ or is it ‘CANDY SHOP’?!?

One Response to “DE LA SOUL IS NOT DEAD”

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