Chris Daly is much more accurate on his second serve.
Should we be worried about the state of De La Soul? First comes word that Plug 1 & 2 have launched the First Serve project, dropping a mysterious mixtape and a cartoon crazy video for their first single, “Must B the Music,” featuring a Deon Sanders interpolation, an Asian kid doing his best Turbo and Ozone impersonation, and Posdnuos sporting a Mr. T hairdo and Rawse beard.
Next came “Turnin’ Me Off,” where the Native Tongues nabobs guest on the lead single from the new Slum Village project latest project with Mick Boogie. And still, I’m wondering where the hell is Maseo?
The good news is that both tracks meet the late period De La standards. You know you’re not going to get “Me Myself & I,” but you’re pleased to still be hearing sharp lyrics that expertly combine the goofy with the poetic, beats that delve between Saturday morning cartoons and old school bangers, and a aural aesthetic you won’t find anywhere else — unless you happen to hanging out with Prince Paul on the weekends, in which case, all bets are off. Of the pair, “Must B” is more upbeat, and to some extent, the more “De La” of the two tracks, with its playful parody of rap mores.
Ironically, “Turnin’ Me Off” sounds like it might have come from ’89. Though the message is more world weary than it was way back whhen—watch out for those Bonita Applebaum hos, ‘cuz it’s the bitches that’ll get yas. This Young RJ-produced joint proves that you should listen to older, wise men more often—lots of smart, young guns that are deader than a motherfucker, to paraphrase a bard.
As someone who was there live for both the original Three Feet High and Rising tour (part of a package show back then) AND the 20 year anniversary tour, I’m always thrilled to hear more from one of the most talented and long-lived crews in history. Now if someone could just let me know that P.A. Pasemaster Mase is not dead, I’ll be back in my Buhloone Mindstate, and all will be well with the world.
MP3: Slum Village ft. De La Soul – “Turning Me Off”