Released nearly two weeks ago following a groundbreaking, 18 month-long Kickstarter-fueled campaign, De La Soul’s latest long player and the Anonymous Nobody…debuted at #1 on the Billboard Rap Albums chart this week. A well-deserved achievement for an excellent album that further solidifies the Long Island threesome’s impenetrable discography and offers further testament to the trio’s unparalleled stamina in the hip-hop game.
Expanding upon We’re Still Here (now), the short but insightful documentary unveiled in conjunction with the release of and the Anonymous Nobody…, Mass Appeal has now blessed us with the more expansive, full-fledged exploration of De La’s storied career entitled, appropriately enough, De La Soul is Not Dead.
From the group’s unanticipated early success with their debut LP 3 Feet High and Rising (1989) to their musical coming of age with follow-up efforts De La Soul is Dead (1991), Buhloone Mindstate (1993) and Stakes Is High (1996) to their underrated 21st century output in the form of Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump (2000), AOI: Bionix (2001), and The Grind Date (2004), the film reinforces why De La Soul are bona fide American musical treasures.
Featuring exclusive interview footage from Posdnuos, Dave and Maseo, as well as from a number of the group’s colleagues and confidantes including producer extraordinaire Prince Paul, Kool DJ Red Alert, and executives from their former label, Tommy Boy Records, the film is a fitting tribute to De La’s far-reaching influence on hip-hop music, culture and ideology.
De La Soul are most definitely not dead, nor have they ever been. Their unique identity, music and spirit are eternal, indeed. “We didn’t want to sound like emcees from Brooklyn or from The Bronx, or Queens rappers, what have you,” Dave reflects in the film's trailer. “We just wanted to sound like Dave, Merc and Mase.”
Watch De La Soul is Not Dead below, followed by a handful of classic De La videos, and do yourself a big favor by snagging a copy of and the Anonymous Nobody… now.