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de la soul Promo-De La Soul MySpace Agent: Michael Schuh

No shows booked at the moment.


De La Soul is a Grammy-award winning hip hop group from Long Island, New York. They are best known for their eclectic sampling and quirky, surreal lyrics, and their contributions to the evolution of the jazz rap subgenre. The members are Kelvin Mercer (Posdnuos, Mercenary, Plug Wonder Why, Plug One), David Jude Jolicoeur (Trugoy the Dove, Dave, Plug Two) and Vincent Mason (P.A. Pasemaster Mase, Maseo, Plug Three). The three formed the group in high school and caught the attention of producer Paul Huston (Prince Paul) with a demo tape of the song “Plug Tunin’.

“3 Feet High and Rising” De La Soul’s debut album (1989), was a critical smash hit in the hip hop genre. They quickly became prominent members of the Zulu Nation, along with A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Queen Latifah, The Jungle Brothers and others. They were also members of the famed Native Tongues Posse. The single “Me, Myself and I” became a huge hit, further cementing the group’s popularity.

“De La Soul is Dead” (1991) De La Soul’s second album was a much more mature album. It featured a wealth of material that criticized the violent, careless direction that hip hop was heading in at the time, though it still managed to maintain a light, absurd sense of humor. The cover of the album features a broken daisy flower pot, symbolizing the death of “D.A.I.S.Y. Age” and the imagery that went along with it.  “Score” magazine listed the album as one of their top 10 Hip Hop albums of all time, stating that “true genius is rarely understood”.

With “Buhloone Mindstate” (1993) the group evolved a new sound and cemented their position as mainstays of the alternative hip hop movement. The album was a critical success and is widely considered their strongest work by fans. “I Be Blowin’” was a departure as the track was an instrumental featuring saxophone playing by the legendary Maceo Parker. “Long Island Wildin’” was a collaboration with Japanese hip-hop trio Scha Dara Parr (SDP). First single “Breakadawn” used a sample of Michael Jackson’s “I Can’t Help It” throughout. The album ended with a fun Biz Markie collaboration called “Stone Age.”

In 1994, 500 copies of a promotional EP called “Clear Lake Audiotorium” were released on clear vinyl and CD. The 6 track EP contained edited versions of tracks off of Buhloone Mindstate but also featured the tracks “Sh.Fe.MC’s” (Shocking Female MC’s) and “Stix & Stonz”.

1996?s “Stakes Is High” was the first album produced solely by the trio, and again, was met with mixed results and poor sales. Four years later, De La Soul announced that they would release a triple album series entitled “Art Official Intelligence” (or AOI). All three albums were intended to be released within a year, beginning with the release of “Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump”. This was followed by “AOI: Bionix” in late 2001. After this, the public saw no release of the third and final album in the AOI series. For the next two years, the only De La Soul releases were singles or remix compilations. The group was having trouble finishing the last AOI installment for many reasons, one of which being an ongoing struggle with Tommy Boy Records, who had been releasing their albums ever since their debut.

In 2004, De La Soul ended up releasing a new full album: “The Grind Date” on Sanctuary Records. Although it was not the new AOI album their fans had been anticipating, it was released to some critical acclaim and was well received by most fans. The album features guests MF Doom, Ghostface Killah and Flava Flav, with production from Jake One, Madlib and more. In 2005, they were featured on the Gorillaz single, “Feel Good Inc” and on the LA Symphony single “Universal”. “Feel Good Inc” also won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Collaboration. In 2006, they released a mixtape entitled “The Impossible Mission”, from their AOI Records label.