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De La Soul The Grind Date Sanctuary • 2004

Normally there was a third release in the AOI series scheduled (dedicated to the DJ) but the hunger for another ‘normal’ full LP was too big. We can hear why: De La Soul still brings the coolest rhymes and the freshest music.

'Verbal Clap', the opening track, is an old school drum pattern with Oriental influences and some nice synth sounds. 'We run mics, let Sean run the marathon' Dave gets scruffy at Puffy. The song’s also an ode to real hip-hop 'just bring the beats, bring the rhymes'. DJ Premier gets at wanna-be-hit wonders on the Madlib produced 'Much More', Dave keeps it non-gangster style 'I play the X-Box instead of fuckin with dice' while Posdneous shows off: 'I don’t cough mics, I rough mics up, ruff and rugged, get the girls still love it'. On the lyrical side of things, the group gets stronger and sharper each album. The title track ànd theme song is a feel-good, sunny track with a swirling loop and some nice background singing. The fantastic 'Rock Co. Kane Flow' is a heroic chorus sample over a slammin snare and MF Doom (another veteran) shinin on the mic like always: 'ya heard? holla!'. The European version has a bonus cut with Sean Paul ('Shoomp') and it’s the best cut Sean Pizzle ever laid vocals on! Throughout the album there’s a reminiscing vibe. 'He Comes' feat Ghostface, for instance, lookin back at the good old days: 'actin like it’s 1988' or 'this is 1986, let that neo-rap go!'. There’s also shout outs to the rest of the Nativue Tongues in the intro 'The Future': 'Chi-Ali hold ya head, God bless'.

15 years in the game and still soundin fresh: nothing has changed but the label. Instead of on the traditional Tommy Boy Records, this album is released on Sanctuary Urban, of which Beyonce’s dad is the head (also executive producer of the album). De La Soul is a monument in hip-hop and still holds it down like it’s 1989. Utmost respect!


POSTED ON 10|20|2004 by cpf

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