Coming straight outta Amityville, Long Island, the seminal hip hop trio De La Soul — comprised of MCs Posdnuos, Trugoy the Dove, and DJ Maseo, plus visionary producer Prince Paul — changed the sound of rap forever. De La’s innovative use of eclectic samples, bugged-out album skits, and multi-layered lyrical wordplay left a stamp on the music that will never die. Their “Buddy” remix became ground zero for the birth of the Native Tongues movement, helping launch the careers of A Tribe Called Quest and giving further shine to rising talents Queen Latifah, Monie Love, and The Jungle Brothers.
Last Friday, De La Soul dropped and the Anonymous Nobody…, their first album in 12 years, and also the first album by any major rap group to be fully funded by crowd-sourcing. Their Kickstarter raised over $600,000—by far the biggest budget they’ve ever seen for an album. This phenomenal show of support is a testament to the fierce loyalty of De La’s devoted fanbase. But that’s not the only reason it’s a big year for Plugs One, Two and Three. Mass Appeal is releasing a documentary online called De La Soul Is Not Dead.
The short film not only looks into the history of De La Soul, but also explores the nagging legal and sample clearance issues that has prevented them from releasing their classic albums such as De La Soul Is Dead (1991) and Stakes is High (1996) on digital platforms like iTunes, Apple Music, or Spotify. Due to this blackout, the current generation of hip hop fans may not fully appreciate their genius and so we’re hoping this documentary helps fill in some those holes. De La Soul Is Not Dead comes out next week on Wednesday (September 7) and in the meantime, please check the trailer above.
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