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De La Soul

De La Soul

Rap group

For the Record

Loved by Reviewers

Changed Thematic Direction

Began Trilogy with Mosaic Thump

Selected discography

Sources

De La Souls pioneering sound, incorporating sampled childrens records and television themes, humorous sketches, and thoughtful lyrics, challenged the rap status quo, which until De La Souls appearance had been dominated by machismo, serious social commentary, and heavy beats. The trios approach, tagged by critics as psychedelic, represented one of the first forays into rap and hip-hop by middle-class African American artists.

Formed in 1985 in Amityville, Long Island, New York, De La Soul consists of Posdnuos (Kelvin Mercer), Trugoy the Dove (David Jolicoeur), and Maseo (Vincent Mason, Jr.), also known as Baby Huey Maseo and Pasemaster Mase. The three chose their stage names from inside jokes and references; Trugoy is yogurt, Jolicoeurs favorite food, spelled backwards, and Posdnuos is a reversal of Mercers former nickname as a DJ. The three met in high school, and after playing in various groups began putting together a rap act distinguished by an offbeat selection of beats and samples and the three friends personal slang. De La Soul presented their first demo, Plug Tunin, to local rap star Prince Paul (Paul Houston) of the band Stetsasonic. Houston was impressed enough to play the tape for a number of DJs and other music figures, and De La

For the Record

Members include Maseo (a.k.a. Pacemaster Mace, Baby Huey Maseo; born Vincent Lamont Mason, Jr. on March 24, 1970, in Brooklyn, NY); Posdnuos (born Kelvin Mercer on August 17, 1969, in the Bronx, NY); Trugoy the Dove (born David Jude Jolicoeur on September 21, 1968, in Brooklyn, NY).

Group formed in Amityville, Long Island, NY, 1985; members met in high school, started as the Native Tongues Posse; played in various bands; demo led to band being signed by Tommy Boy Records, 1988; released first album, Three Feet High and Rising, 1989; released De La Soul is Dead, 1991; Buhloone Mindstate, 1993; Stakes Is High, 1996; Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump, 2000; and AOI; Bionox, 2001.

Addresses: Record company Tommy Boy Records, 1747 First Avenue, New York, NY 10128.

Soul became the unsigned sensation of the New York rap scene. The band decided to sign with Tommy Boy Records in 1988.

The trios debut album, Three Feet High and Rising, produced by Prince Paul and featuring guest turns by rappers the Jungle Brothers and Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest, hit the stores in 1989. It was a smash, and introduced a new look to the rap world: the psychedelic style of The D.A.I.S.Y. Age, which stands for Da Inner Sound, Yall. The flowers that adorned the albums cover led many listeners to pigeonhole De La Soul as hippies. But, as Trugoy told New Yorks Matthew Weingarden, the band refused the label from the start: We dont mind if people say, You remind us of the hippie days, of sixties things, because there is some of that in our music. But were not trying for that lookwere just being us.

Compared with many other late-1980s pop artists under the sway of 1960s and 1970s culture, De La Soul used their influences creatively and often subversively. Their samples frequently came from obscure sources like cartoons, game shows, and non-rock pop records, some of which came from their parents collections, as well as familiar R&B, funk, and rock tunes. The Magic Number, one of several popular tracks from Three Feet High, sampled a 1970s educational cartoon about the number three, turning the refrain into an anthem for De La Souls three members.

Indeed, anyone who accused De La Soul of trendiness and image obsession only had to listen to Take it Off, nearly two minutes of the group listing various trendy articles that their listeners should cast aside. We dont wish to offend people with our suggestions of taking off these certain items weve named (which are capitalizing on fads), declared the albums liner notes, BUT if youre offended then take it off. Despite this celebration of individuality, the groups flowerpower look became one of the fashion markers of late 1980s.

Loved by Reviewers

Reviewers of the album were almost as enthusiastic as the groups fans, who drove record sales to platinum. Cosmopolitans Michael Segell called Three Feet High not only funny but funky, sexy, literate, romantic, and eminently groovable. Whereas raps more muscular shock troops preach a kind of urban guerilla warfare, De La Soul is psychedelic sugar and spice, with some safe sex thrown in. Psychedelic may be too thin a word for a prankster trio with the bold idea of tacking sixties flower power onto late-eighties angst. Whatever it is, however they do it, it works. According to Alan Light of Rolling Stone, Three Feet High represented the triumphant coming of age of middle-class, black suburban children of the Seventies.

On a less triumphant note, the first album brought about a $ 1.7 million lawsuit by former members of the pop band the Turtles, who wrote some of the music sampled on Three Feet High and hadnt been approached for permission to use it. Though the issue was settled out of court in 1990 for an undisclosed sum, De La Soul had to be much more careful about getting permission for everything they sampled. For a time, the band members admitted, it seemed that everyone was listening to their records carefully for signs of unacknowledged sampling.

Changed Thematic Direction

De La Souls popularity extended to many audiences rap didnt usually reach, particularly white college students, who, some speculated, found the D.A.I.S.Y. sound less threatening than the violent intensity of N.W.A. or the political force of Public Enemy. The sugar and spice and suburban qualities noted by Segell and Light may well have translated into accusations of softness to De La Soul, who decided to ditch the D.A.I.S.Y. image in favor of a tougher stance.

Their second album made no bones about the change. Released in 1991, it was titled De La Soul is Dead. The cover showed an overturned pot of daisies, and the contents of the album, while still making liberal use of off-the-wall humor and unusual samples, showed an increased seriousness. While the first album used a game-show format, the second was arranged like a read-along recording with tones signaling the turn of a page. Among the more disconcerting lessons in this new storybook were drug addiction, addressed in My Brothers a Basehead, a bonus track on the CD based on Posdnuos personal experience, and incest, illustrated by Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa, the tale of a young girl sexually abused by her social-worker father, who also works as a department store Santa Claus. The unusual style and language of De La Soul created a different effect from the upbeat humor of their debut.

Though the second record featured plenty of jokes and sketches, critics for the most part gave mixed or negative reviews. Billboard commented that De La Soul is Dead finds the rap group in a darker, albeit still experimental mood. [The] trio swings its way through its menu of childrens-record samples and off-kilter beats with brio. [The] Outfit may not be quite at [the] top its game, but major sales are still a natural. According to Musician, the album isnt simply about the Soulsters aversion to image; its about learning to deal with realitywhether thats things not being the way they seem or not being seen for who you are. On that front, De La Soul is all the way live. Peoples David Hiltbrand called the record a boisterous package of playful, clever, suburban rap. Unfortunately, the album didnt find the mass audience that their previous album had, only reaching number 22 on the American chartsand had only one single hit with Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)before fizzling out. Even with the momentum of their previous album, De La Soul is Dead only reached gold record status.

De La Soul released their third album, Buhloone Mindstate, in 1993. While the album was even harder and funkier musically than De La Soul is Dead, it returned to the stylings of their earliest release. It didnt succumb to gangsta rap, noted All Music Guide Stephen Thomas Erlewine, and it received strong reviews before falling off the charts from number 40.

Began Trilogy with Mosaic Thump

The groups fourth album, Stakes is High, followed Mindstate in 1996 and had a similar fate. With the harder edge of De La Soul is Dead, it received good reviews but had little audience. For their fifth album, De La Soul started what they predicted would be a trilogy, and began with releasing Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump. They again reached the audience they wanted, and the album debuted in the top ten. But reviews were once again mixed, even though MTV.com called it one of the years most inventive albums. The group released the second album in the trilogy, AOI: Bionox, in 2001.

De La Soul seemed committed, in any case, to following its own path. After a critically acclaimed and enormously popular debut, the three young rap artists faced the task of staying vital and original in a business that encourages pigeonholing and duplication of successful formulas. As Posdnuos remarked to Weingarden, Everything is coming from withinour own thoughts, not the guidance of others.

Selected discography

Three Feet High and Rising, Tommy Boy, 1989.

De La Soul is Dead, Tommy Boy, 1991.

Buhloone Mindstate, Tommy Boy, 1993.

Stakes Is High, Tommy Boy, 1996.

Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump, Tommy Boy, 2000.

AOI: Bionox, Tommy Boy, 2001.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, June 1, 1991.

Cosmopolitan, June 1989.

Musician, July 1991.

New York, March 27, 1989.

People, May 13, 1991.

Rolling Stone, April 18, 1991.

Village Voice, May 21, 1991.

Online

All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (April 1, 2002).

MTV.com, http://www.mtv.com (April 1, 2002).

Recording Industry Association of America, http://www.riaa.org (April 1, 2002).

Additional information was obtained from the Three Feet High and Rising CD liner notes, 1989.

Simon Glickman

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De La Soul

De La Soul

Rap trio

For the Record

Debut Album a Hit

Loved by Reviewers

Changed Thematic Direction

Selected discography

Sources

De La Souls pioneering sound, incorporating sampled childrens records and TV themes, humorous sketches, and thoughtful lyrics, challenged the rap status quo, which until De La Souls appearance had been dominated by machismo, serious social commentary, and heavy beats. This new trios approach, tagged by critics as psychedelic, represented one of the first forays into rap and hip-hop by middle-class black artists.

Formed in 1985 in Amityville, Long Island, New York, De La Soul consists of Posdnuos (Kelvin Mercer), Trugoy the Dove (David Jolicoeur), and Baby Huey Maseo, also known as Pasemaster Mase (Vincent Mason, Jr.). The three chose their stage names from in jokes and references; Trugoy is yogurt, Jolicoeurs favorite food, spelled backwards, and Posdnuos is a reversal of Mercers former nickname as a DJ.

The three met in high school and after playing in various groups began putting together a rap act distinguished by an offbeat selection of beats and samples and the three friends personal slang. De La Soul

For the Record

Group formed in 1985 in Amityville, Long Island, NY; members include Maseo (born Vincent Mason, Jr., c. 1970, in Amityville; a.k.a. Baby Huey Maseo), Posdnuos (born Kelvin Mercer, c. 1970, in Amityville), and Trugoy the Dove (born David Jolicoeur, c. 1969, in Amityville); members met in high school; played in various bands and formed De La Soul in 1985; demo led to bands being signed by Tommy Boy Records, 1988; released first album, Three Feet High and Rising, in 1989.

Addresses: Record company Tommy Boy Records, 1747 First Avenue, New York, NY 10128.

presented their first demo, Plug Tunin, to local rap star Prince Paul (Paul Houston) of the band Stetsasonic. Houston was impressed enough to play the tape for a number of DJs and other music figures, and De La Soul became the unsigned sensation of the New York rap scene. The band decided to sign with Tommy Boy Records in 1988.

Debut Album a Hit

The trios debut album, Three Feet High and Rising, produced by Prince Paul and featuring guest turns by rappers the Jungle Brothers and Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest, hit the stores in 1989. It was a smash, and introduced a new look to the rap world: the psychedelic style of The D.A.I.S.Y. Age, which stands for Da Inner Sound, Yall. The flowers that adorned the albums cover led many listeners to pigeonhole De La Soul as hippies. But, as Trugoy told New Yorks Matthew Weingarden, the band refused the label from the start: We dont mind if people say, You remind us of the hippie days, of sixties things, because there is some of that in our music. But were not trying for that lookwere just being us.

Compared with many other late-1980s pop artists under the sway of 1960s and 1970s culture, De La Soul used their influences creatively and often subversively. Their samples frequently came from obscure sources like cartoons, game shows, and non-rock pop recordssome of which came from their parents collectionsas well as familiar rhythm-and-blues, funk, and rock tunes. The Magic Number, one of several popular tracks from Three Feet High, sampled a 1970s educational cartoon about the number three, turning the refrain into an anthem for De La Souls three members.

Indeed, anyone who accused De La Soul of trendiness and image obsession only had to listen to Take it Off, nearly two minutes of the group listing various trendy articles that their listeners should cast aside. We dont wish to offend people with our suggestions of taking off these certain items weve named (which are capitalizing on fads), declared the albums liner notes, BUT if youre offended then take it off. Despite this celebration of individuality, the groups flowerpower look became one of the fashion markers of the late eighties.

Loved by Reviewers

Reviewers of the album were almost as enthusiastic as the groups fans. Cosmopolitans Michael Segell called Three Feet High not only funny but funky, sexy, literate, romantic, and eminently groovable. Whereas raps more muscular shock troops preach a kind of urban guerilla warfare, De La Soul is psychedelic sugar and spice, with some safe sex thrown in. Psychedelic may be too thin a word for a prankster trio with the bold idea of tacking sixties flower power onto late-eighties angst. Whatever it is, however they do it, it works. According to Alan Light of Rolling Stone, Three Feet High represented the triumphant coming of age of middle-class, black suburban children of the Seventies.

On a less triumphant note, the first album brought about a $ 1.7 million lawsuit by former members of the pop band the Turtles, who wrote some of the music sampled on Three Feet High and hadnt been approached for permission to use it. Though the issue was settled out of court in 1990 for an undisclosed sum, De La Soul had to be much more careful about getting permission for everything they sampled. For a time, the band members admitted, it seemed that everyone was listening to their records carefully for signs of unacknowledged sampling.

Changed Thematic Direction

De La Souls popularity extended to many audiences rap didnt usually reach, particularly white college students, who, some speculated, found the D.A.I.S.Y. sound less threatening than the violent intensity of N.W.A. or the political force of Public Enemy. The sugar and spice and suburban qualities noted by Segell and Light may well have translated into accusations of softness to De La Soul, who decided to ditch the D.A.I.S.Y. image in favor of a tougher stance. Their second album made no bones about the change; released in 1991, it was titled De La Soul is Dead.

The cover showed an overturned pot of daisies, and the contents of the album, while still making liberal use of off-the-wall humor and unusual samples, showed an increased seriousness. While the first album used a game-show format, the second was arranged like a read-along recording with tones signaling the turn of a page. Among the more disconcerting lessons in this new storybook were drug addiction, addressed in My Brothers a Basehead, a bonus track on the CD based on Posdnuoss personal experience, and incest, illustrated by Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa, the tale of a young girl sexually abused by her social-worker father, who also works as a department store Santa Claus. The unusual style and language of De La Soul create a different effect here from the upbeat humor of their debut.

Though the second record featured plenty of jokes and sketches, critics noticed and, for the most part, approved of the bands new attitude. Billboard commented that De La Soul is Dead finds the rap group in a darker, albeit still experimental mood. [The] trio swings its way through its menu of childrens-record samples and off-kilter beats with brio. [The] Outfit may not be quite at [the] top of its game, but major sales are still a natural. According to Musician, the album isnt simply about the Soulsters aversion to image; its about learning to deal with realitywhether thats things not being the way they seem or not being seen for who you are. On that front, De La Soul is all the way live. Peoples David Hiltbrand called the record a boisterous package of playful, clever, suburban rap.

Village Voice critic Nelson George, however, saw the trios new direction as a surrender to rap-world ghettocentricity, the tendency to make the ghetto the center of ones thinking. In order to prove their manhood to challengers who thought them soft (in all ghettocentric meanings of the word) and maybe even to themselves, George wrote, De La Soul have opted for a semimacho stance at odds with their landmark introduction. Posdnuos suggested to Rolling Stone that the group was struggling with just these issues. I feel like were showing something else to the people we introduced to a whole new sound on the first album. Like a lot of the white kidswere bringing them to more of a street level this time. Mases explanation emphasized the bands attempt to find a middle passage between hard rap and unthreatening pop: We wanted to show the one side that, yo, it aint gotta be a rough beat all the time. And let the other side know there is a rough side. De La Soul seemed committed, in any case, to following its own path. After a critically acclaimed and enormously popular debut, the three young rap artists faced the task of staying vital and original in a business that encourages pigeonholing and duplication of successful formulas. As Posdnuos remarked to Weingarden, Everything is coming from withinour own thoughts, not the guidance of others.

Selected discography

Three Feet High and Rising (includes The Magic Number, Take it Off, and Plug Tunin), Tommy Boy, 1989.

De La Soul is Dead (includes My Brothers a Basehead and Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa), Tommy Boy, 1991.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, June 1, 1991.

Cosmopolitan, June 1989.

Musician, July 1991.

New York, March 27, 1989.

People, May 13, 1991.

Rolling Stone, April 18, 1991.

Village Voice, May 21, 1991.

Other

Three Feet High and Rising CD liner notes, Tommy Boy, 1989.

Simon Glickman

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"De La Soul." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/de-la-soul

De La Soul

DE LA SOUL

Formed: 1987, Long Island, New York

Members: P. A. Mase (Vincent Mason; born Amityville, New York, 27 March 1970); Posdnous (Kelvin Mercer; born Bronx, New York, 17 August 1969); Trugoy the Dove (David Joliceur; born Amityville, New York, 21 September 1968).

Genre: Hip-Hop

Hit songs since 1990: "A Roller Skate Named Saturday," "Ring Ring Ring," "Oooh"


When De La Soul emerged in the late 1980s, fans and critics alike embraced them as an alternative to the aggressiveness that dominated much of hip-hop's attitude at the time. Compared to the gold-chain bravado and velour-suit preening exhibited by the likes of LL Cool J, Run-D.M.C., and Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul draped themselves in day-glo colors and flower-child imagery. With the release of their critically lauded 3 Ft. High and Rising (1989), many labeled De La Soul as the hippies of hip-hop, an association the group itself detested. But their popularity helped create a space for hip-hop's more socially marginal denizens: rap's geeks and nerds, who saw De La Soul as their patron saints.

De La Soul often fought to reconcile the critical praise that was heaped upon them with the lack of the commercial success they craved. One of the outcomes of this struggle was that De La Soul reinvented themselves on almost every album they released. The most dramatic of these transformations was done in literal fashion with the release of their second album, De La Soul Is Dead (1991). The cover of the album shows a potted daisya symbol from their first albumoverturned and broken as the stark lettering of the album's title proclaims the end to De La Soul as we knew them. There are elements on De La Soul Is Dead that evince a stark changewhat the hip-hop journalist Nelson George argued was a switch from Afrocentrism to ghettocentrism. On "Pease Porridge," Mase can be heard asking, "Why do people think that just because he speak peace we can't throw no joints?" On "Afro Connections at a Hi 5," they lampoon "hoodlum" rap with an aggressive, mocking rhyme style.

The album's darkest song, inexplicably released as a single, is "Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa," which tells the tale of an incest victim shooting her molester. Although the mood is decidedly less happy-go-lucky on this album than on their previous release, the group is no less inventive or playful. Their club favorite "A Roller Skate Named Saturday" conjures up the rollicking pleasure of a 1970s disco party; the farcical "Bitties in the BK Lounge" and "Hey Love" both deal with the comical complexities of gender relations.

Their next album, Buhloone Mindstate (1993), found De La wading even further afield in what many considered their most inventive work, whereas others considered it esoteric and over their heads. Despite likable singles such as the smooth and mellow "Breakadawn," the album produced few hits and has become more of a cult favorite than a mainstream classic. Standout songs include "Stone Age," a collaboration with the always entertaining Biz Markie, and "I Am, I Be," an autobiographical reflection on De La's fears and motivations.

With Stakes Is High (1996) De La Soul parted ways with Prince Paul and made new headway with an album that was completely their own. The result was a strong, well-balanced offering that was more lyrically accessible while sacrificing little else. Songs like "The Bizness," "Itzowezee," and the title track itself exhibit the same qualities that graced their previous albumswit, intelligence, and a commitment to social consciousness. In addition, the group mentors a new generation of talent, with guests like Common, Mos Def, and Truth Enola making cameos.

Their next two albums were meant to be part of a larger triptych named Art Official Intelligence, Mosaic Thump (2000) and Bionix (2001). These works find the group struggling for relevance when they're one of the few hip-hop groups from the 1980s still standing. With singles like "Oooh" (which appears on Mosaic Thump ), they proved they still had the ability to create hits, but the overall albums failed to resonate with younger audiences.

Throughout their long career, De La Soul proved to be sole survivors, outlasting many peers who were once part of a confederation of artists called the Native Tongues family (A Tribe Called Quest, the Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah). Though they never matched the success they found with their debut, 3 Ft. High and Rising, the group was among hip-hop's richest because they never took their artistry for granted. In a genre where consistency and longevity rarely unite, De La Soul managed to build their reputation on both.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

De La Soul Is Dead (Tommy Boy, 1991); Buhloone Mindstate (Tommy Boy, 1993); Stakes Is High (Tommy Boy, 1996); Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump (Tommy Boy, 2000).

oliver wang

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"De La Soul." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"De La Soul." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/de-la-soul

"De La Soul." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/de-la-soul