Posdnuos, Dave, and Maseo constitute groundbreaking hip-hop trio De La Soul. Their debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, has been a staple of the hip-hop genre since its release in 1989. I mean, really, who hasn’t heard “Me Myself and I” (no, not the Beyonce song)? Then there’s Stakes Is High—the heralded album covers everything from the ills of hip hop and the African-American community, to failed relationships and the perception of love. (If you don’t have Stakes Is High in your sound collection, I suggest you upgrade your ears.) De La has inspired the likes of the Digable Planets and Mos Def, just to name a couple. Take a Jazz history course and sometime toward the end of the semester, after Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, you’ll hear the professor utter De La Soul. In short, the trio’s contribution to the evolution of hip hop, from jazz and other genres, can’t be overstated.
Despite their second album’s title (De La Soul is Dead), the trio is still alive and rockin’. They’ve released seven LPs to date, including two out of a three-disc Art Official Intelligence installment. Of the second album in that series, AOI: Bionix, you’ve probably heard the playful (it’s nothing but a little) “Baby Phat.” But have you heard the last track? If not, you’ve missed out. Let’s rewind to 2001 and reminisce over one of the better tracks the Long Island crew has released to date.
“Trying People” is beyond ear-pleasing. Pos and Dave dive into their respective life experiences and rap about various topics they’re passionate about—doing their part to raise the next generation out of a harmful mindset, working to sustain relationships, or other personal trials, and the struggles of those closest to them. My ears appreciate the subtle jazzy vibes, old-school sample (ready, ready, ready), and the heartfelt use of children’s voices. The track is honest and relatable, and will seep into your being just to compel you to reflect. Click play (below) and take a few minutes to listen.
P.S. Did you miss the last R&R? Click HERE to check it out.