Twelve years after the release of their last album, De La Soul has managed to reach the top of the rap billboard with the killer beats from their new album, “and the Anonymous Nobody.”
Released on Aug. 26, the album was funded through a Kickstarter campaign that raised over half a million dollars.
Nowadays, it is not too common to hear music from a trio in the rap/hip-hop world. Though they originated from a different era in hip hop, the 1980s and 1990s, De La Soul is an amazing trio that still exists today. You might recognize them from the song “Me, Myself, and I” in which they rap to a sample of “(Not Just) Knee Deep” by Funkadelic. What mark are they trying to make in the music world today? With their new album, it seems that they attempt to improve their quality of music with each successive album.
All throughout this album the master emcees and DJ that make up the group (Posdnuos,Trugoy the Dove and Pasemaster Mase) present meaningful and poetic lyrics. The group tells stories describing what pain is, their experiences with love and other interactions with women, the problems with today’s youth and more.
One of the most interesting components of this album is that some of the songs don’t sound like they are sung. If you listen closely, they sound more like poems that are recited over an instrumental background. This allows for the exquisite wordplay that De La Soul are known to provide.
The album features a handful of well-known artists, such as Estelle, Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz, Usher, Damon Albarn from Gorillaz and Little Dragon. The featured artists add diversity of sound to the album, which is very different from their other work because it is not strictly rap. In contrast to past albums, this one showcases R&B, rock and alternative rhythms infused with rap.
The album was not intended to top all the other albums that have come out recently. As presented in the album, De La Soul view the new music artists are producing today negatively. Based on the content in their songs and skits or interludes, De La Soul wants to inspire artists of all genres to challenge themselves and start producing material that is long lasting.
The first track, “Genesis,” talks about love and when we love things the most. Here, the group may be making a reference to the poor quality of music that is released today and that people shouldn’t lose their love for music because of it. “Genesis” also features a female artist, Jill Scott. To open the album with a female singer was a great choice. Scott does the amazing job of providing a soothing tone that fits with this track. The tone presented is one of a mother explaining to her son when one should start loving someone or something. In the last skit “You Go Dave” someone named Dave Goldbatt thanks De La Soul for giving him good music, something he had not been able to find.
The last song, “Exodus,” is the most important of all. Toward the end, the group explains their motive for this album. They describe themselves not as the heroes who save music but as people who contribute to the inspiration of producing music that is more creative, challenging and that has longevity.