ARTIST: De La Soul
TITLE: De La Soul Is Dead
YEAR RELEASED: 1991
CHART ACTION: #26 US, #24 R&B, #7 UK
SINGLES: Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey (#22 R&B, #3 Rap, #16 Dance, #10 UK), A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays” (#43 R&B, #6 Dance, #22 UK), Keeping the Faith (#50 UK), Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Pease Porridge, Bitties in the BK Lounge
LINEUP: Posdonus, Trugoy the Dove, Maseo with Prince Paul producing.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A reaction, maybe an over-reaction, to their being called hippies resulted in this darker, more intense album that has some good moments, but some tedious ones as well.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The skits and foolishness that worked on 3 Feet High and Rising stopped this record dead in its tracks. Following a group of kids that found a tape of the record, they dislike it and declare De La Soul ‘dead’.
The group didn’t die, but the skit killed the momentum and flow of the album, making its poignant and biting social commentary a bit lost in the scheme of the album.
There is absolutely some material that is as good as their debut. It’s definitely more serious and harrowing, and probably more true to life. But the band didn’t need the folderol, just the raps, and this would have been fine.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The incident that set off the group was when Arsenio Hall called them ‘hippies’. They referenced that a lot.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, bonus tracks on the CD version that wasn’t on vinyl or cassette.
GRADE: B-: Carrying grudges didn’t help and wrecked the flow.