Few groups would have the perseverence to repeatedly scale the mountains of bullshit under which legendary hip hop group De La Soul frequently find themselves, and it’s hard to think of a act less deserving of such torture.
Truth be told, even with the much anticipated release of their new Kickstarter-funded album “And the Anonymous Nobody” on August 26, they aren’t out of the woods yet; as Finn Cohen writes today in the New York Times, the group’s back catalog — several albums worth of classic material from the genre’s mid-90s glory years — remains depressingly absent from digital download or streaming services, as the material remains ensnared in lawsuits tacked to the liberal use of samples on their early records.
The good news is that the future looks much brighter, starting today with “Drawn,” a plush, warm cut featuring Little Dragon assisting on vocals. The organic sound owes teases the group’s approach towards making “Nobody”: To avoid more headaches, De La spent three years recording their touring band, the Rhythm Roots All-Stars, creating in effect their own original music library from which they could freely sample.
So far, it’s working.