De La Soul is NOT dead

‘Don’t feed the Vultures, support and respect the culture’


Courtesy of Wikipedia

De La Soul’s music will appear on streaming platforms beginning March 3.

Finnegan Siemion, Staff Writer

After a long-anticipated arrival to streaming, De La Soul has finally announced their music will arrive on all streaming platforms on March 3 of this year.

“Don’t feed the Vultures, support and respect the culture,” writes De La Soul on Instagram in response to the recent deal made with Tommy Boy Records to release their music on streaming services. Despite the reluctance of De La Soul to agree with the deal, which finds 90% of profits delegated to Tommy Boy and a mere 10% delegated to De La Soul, it seems the group felt no better deal would arrive. Therefore, they agreed on these terms to release their full discography this spring.

High school friends out of Amityville, NY, Trugoy (yogurt spelled backward), Maseo and Posdnous (sound sop spelled backward) formed the group De La Soul during the waning moments of 80s hip-hop. After catching the attention of Prince Paul, a producer and fellow classmate, a newly formed friendship arose that ultimately led them to collaborate for years to come.

De La Soul’s debut album, “Three Feet High and Rising” (1989), produced by Prince Paul, was a statement project for the group that surprised the hip-hop world. Riding on influences of jazz, funk and soul for the production and revolving around themes of peace and harmony lyrically, the record stood out from the rest.

Following the record’s release, the group quickly became a prominent member of the “Native Tongues,” a group of artists/groups in hip-hop that focused on positive, peaceful afro-centric lyrics paired with jazz-influenced beats. (The Native Tongues also featured groups such as A Tribe Called Quest, Jungle Brothers and Queen Latifah).

“Three Feet High and Rising” conveyed a hippie-like vibe to fans and casual listeners alike, something De La Soul wasn’t too fond of. Revolving around this concept of “D.A.I.S.Y. Age” (an acronym standing for “da inner sound, y’all”), De La Soul would attempt to separate themselves from this presumed image people began associating them with.

With their next record, the group made the decision to flip the script in an attempt to remove themselves from the “hippie” label. What was a controversial shift to many but an obvious and necessary one to the group, De La Soul dropped “De La Soul Is Dead” in 1991.

De La Soul matured the subject matter of its discography, confronting the violent, reckless direction that hip-hop was heading while maintaining a sense of charisma and humor on the mic. The album cover features a broken pot of daisies, symbolizing the end of the De La Soul most people knew. The record received less acclaim chart-wise but was redeemed by its cult following and praise — the record later being listed by “The Source” magazine as one of the top 100 hip-hop albums of all time.

Through the rest of the ’90s, De La Soul would release both “Buhloone Mindstate” (1993) and “Stakes Is High” (1996), evolving their sound with each release. On “Buhloone Mindstate,” the trio continued to experiment and implement quirks into their brand of hip-hop, despite a dip in sales. This was followed by an increased level of pressure to deliver commercially on their next record, which became a “make-or-break” moment for the group.

The group parted ways with Prince Paul over conflicting opinions artistically in order to preserve their friendship. When “Stakes Is High” dropped, the project did not disappoint — Prince Paul even stated that it is possibly his favorite De La Soul record.

De La Soul continued to be an imposing force within the realm of hip-hop, with their biggest commercial success coming from their feature on Gorillaz’s “Feel Good Inc.,” which rightfully earned themselves their first grammy. A handful of solid records later, and the occasional collaboration, De La Soul cemented themselves as hip-hop legends.

Acknowledging the contributions De La Soul has made to the culture of hip-hop, it comes as no surprise that their streaming arrival is generating so much hype. This group is a part of hip-hop heritage, and we are blessed to witness their arrival to streaming.