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De La Soul are one of the coolest groups to have walked this planet. Fact. They are an American hip hop group who formed in 1987 and they have some odd names; Kelvin Mercer (Posdnuos, Mercenary, Plug Wonder Why, Plug One), David Jude Jolicoeur (Trugoy the Dove, Dave, Plug Two) and Vincent Mason (P.A. Pasemaster Mase, Maseo, Plug Three). I think it wise I don't refer to their names again, because it's all a bit of a mouthful.
Their sound? It's rap, it's funky, it's jazzy, dancey and lyrically witty. Stylish I think sums it up. It kicks off with the delicious 'Me Myself and I' which is uber funky and has some great cut up vocals and laidback rapping. Would be a perfect song to play while cruising down the freeway in the hot sun at about five mph.
'Say No Go' is another hot joint, sounding like party in a rap jungle, it is street and oozes cool and the rapping is as slick as you like, again with really funky drums and loops. 'Eye No' is a touch mellower, this reminds me of 'Me Wendal' and has a very similar structure, even the rapping sounds like Speech's preachy rap. A lovely whistling section and some whimsical jazzy bits make it oh so fine.
Another of the biggies is 'Magic Number' with some tasty drum loops, teetering on the breakbeat and enough hooky parts to latch onto. The rapping remains confident and fragrant at every turn.
'Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays' samples a bit of disco to great effect and sounds really polished with the production. The rap sections blend effotlessly into the backing track and some great horn sounds add a brightness to it.
My final tip is the amazing 'All Good' which employs the talents of Chaka Khan. Her vocal is keen and soulful and the track is a terrific merging of rap from the boys and her powerful vocal, a song you can grind to with ease in a dirty club.
Seventeen tracks in total. A solid best of and very stylish.
Im surprised there has been no reviews on this, De La Soul are up there with hip-hop groups such as A Tribe Called Quest, the greatest hits obviously is their best songs and is put on double cd album with a total of 27 tracks so bare with me as i try and explain each one a clearly as i can although they all are simply great hip-hop beats.
track listing reviewed.
1. Me Myself And I [Radio Version]. One of the groups most famous songs with originality at its best which reached number 1 in the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop and Hot Dance Club Play charts, it features a classic beat with added scratch effects here and there.
2. Say No Go. A fast tempo song with a nice guitar loop in the chorus and sometimes thrown in throughout the song, its hard to determine what they rap about in general its just about anything and everything.
3. Eye Know. The guitar is used to full on this which continues for most of the song and somehting ive never heard before a whistle loop which works brilliantly .
4. The Magic Number. Everyone knows this song if they listen to real hip-hop it wasnt the highest chart positioned song but set a benchmark of what hip-hop should be like with De La's rhythm and lyrical ability.
5. Potholes In My Lawn. The more random song on the album about basically potholes which i could best describe as certain things or people getting in their way throughout their career but this one of the first ever singles released back in 1988, a simple kick, kick, snare with a high pitched saxaphone loop.
6. Buddy. The original not the mixed version, featuring a verse from Q-Tip and is about what buddy represents as they have many explanations for, several scrathes are featured throughout.
7. Ring Ring Ring [Ha Ha Hey]. The chorus is based on leaving an answer machine recording and trying to get numbers from girls, a nice saxaphone is added again with a nice beat.
8. A Roller Skating Jam Named "Saturdays". With backing vocals from Q-Tip who intros, Russell Simmons who adds a bit here and there and Vinia Mojica who provides a nice chorus, its one of the better and more detailed produced beat which about going out and having fun on a saturday.
9. Keppin' The Faith. A Space like beat from the intro with the beat loop turned up and bass guitar added and various samples throughout.
10. Breakadawn. One of my favourite songs from the group, Its not slow but more melow and good to chill out to with constant lyrical rapping which only reached number 30 in the R&B/Hip-Hop chart and should of been higher.
11. Stakes Is High. This was released as a single in 1996 and only reached number 53 in the R&b/Hip-Hop chart and since then until today their singles have been hovering at the 40-50 mark and sometimes lower which is very underated as this is what hip-hop should be like but is not being recognized.
12. 4 More. The slow and melow track featuring Zhane who sings the chorus brilliantly, a nice beat with what i can describe as a phone button tone loop throughout.
13. Oooh. Featuring the legendary Redman this was released in 2000 and it clearly shows with certain added effects and hits but still holds its originality with De La's rapping and beat production.
14. All Good?. 3 Main Parts to this track, Beat, Guitar Loop and bass very effective featuring Chaka Kahn who sings the chorus and a small part at the beginning.
15. Thru Ya City. Featuring D.V Alias Khrist who raps on the chorus, the song is ok its not the best De La have done.
16. Baby Phat. Another ok song only reached number 81 in the charts which should of been a little higher but definetly not a top 10 it was released in 2002 and was missing something but i cant figure what, it features a short from Devin The Dude and Yummy Bingham.
17. Watch Out. Has a salsa thing going on to it from the intro and is a great outro track on the first disc but was never released as a single.
Bonus Cd Track Listing Reviewed.
1. Buddy [Native Tongue Decision Version]. Much much better than the original this version goes on for 7 minutes with features from the original (Q-Tip, Jungle Brothers) and a few others including Monie Love, Queen Latifah and Phife Dawg who each rap on their own verse.
2. Stakes Is High [Remix]. Another remix that i think is better than the original and would of done better chart wise if released, with a feature from Mos Def on 2 verses which makes it all that much more enjoyable.
3. The Bizness. Featuring Common this is one of my favourite De La tracks, its very original with a beat and bass loop which blend perfectly togeather.
4. Stone Age. Another classic featuring the human beatbox Biz Markie who provides most of the sounds throughout and has his own beatboxing verse.
5. Big Brother Beat. Nothing special about this song its a bit to plain for my liking but De La manage to keep it togeather with their lyrics.
6. 4 More [Clean Version]. Exactly the same as on CD1 but censored.
7. So Good. I love this song its great for scratching to with its upbeat tempo and fast rapping from De La and features Camp Lo on the first verse.
8. I.C Y'all. featuring a rapper i dont like too much Busta Rhymes who features on the chorus the beat is more electro and less hip-hop style.
9. Held Down. The first De La track ive heard featuring what i think is violins with a feature from Cee-Lo and a backing from a choir makes the song all that much better.
10. What We Do [For Love]. The final song on the album, its not bad with a nice feature from the legendary Slick Rick who makes me think of his classic Childrens Story Song.
My Final Thought.
One of the best Greatest Hits album i own and have heard, it can be picked up dirt cheap now and anyone who is a hip-hop fan will not be dissapointed with a 27 track listing and its aray of classic songs, its very hard to try and explain each song individually as they all are great and basically hip-hop.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Me Myself And I
2 Say No Go
3 Eye Know
4 Magic Number
5 Potholes In My Lawn
6 Buddy - De La Soul & Jungle Brothers/Q Tip/Phife
7 Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)
8 Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays
9 Keepin' The Faith
11 Stakes Is High
12 4 More - De La Soul & Zhane
13 Oooh - De La Soul & Redman
14 All Good - De La Soul & Chaka Khan
15 Thru Ya City - De La Soul & DV Alias Khrist
16 Baby Phat - De La Soul & Devin The Dude/Elizabeth 'Yummy' Bingham
17 Watch Out