Legendary hip-hop group De La Soul made their entire discography available for download this Valentine’s day. Here are eight love tracks to help you sift through the epic collection of beats and rhymes.
Eye Know is quite possible the quintessential De La Lovin’ track. Plugs 1 and 2 flip wordplay fresh like pancakes over some of Prince Paul’s smoothest production for the pair. Peep the third verse for one of the more innocuous lovemaking propositions you’ll hear in hip-hop, “When transistors will play/ Come into bed is the mood/ Dolby sound will be then top crowned/ When I put the needle into your groove”. Only Pos could do it.
This Native Tongues posse cut features Tribe, Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah and Monie Love for a full seven minutes of musing on the ideal buddy or “body” as Prince Paul explains in the shorter video version. Highlights include Monie Love’s verse, Prince Paul’s takeover of the track’s final minute, and Q-Tip suggesting he and his buddy can stay “close like bosoms”. That’s mad close, yo.
Pos and Trugoy make a BK run and end up dealing with a bona fide Bon Qui Qui. The crew then flips the script when we see Trugoy in the role of employee and a lady who can “buy you and sell you for pennies” in the role of customer. That’s some high-brow conceptual -ish to basically make the point that BK bitties are a tough crowd.
If Eye Know is the quintessential love song from De La then 3 Days Later is the quintessential anti-love track from the trio. We get Posdnuos talking one night stands and STDs and Trugoy the Dove getting shot by a stick up kid while on a date. Buhloone Mindstate was the final De La album to be produced by Prince Paul. He shows out here with a Kool Moe Dee reference and flipping David Porter’s The Masquerade is Over , the same track sampled on Biggie’s Who Shot Ya.
Plugs 1 and 2 took over their own production for their 1996 release Stakes is High. We catch Pos and Trugoy generally dissatisfied with the hip-hop landscape which results in a more somber tone to the group’s fourth album. Even still, the two super emcees have time to spit a bit of game, opening 4 More with, “It’s that brown man from Long Island and shores/ I got a way with women so I get away with yours.”
This is for the females with The Thickness and the fellas who mess with them. And that’s all there is to say about that.
Also from Stakes is High, this jam throws the Jazzyfatnastees over a flip of Malcolm McLaren’s Buffalo Gals (confession, I only knew that because the intro) before giving Pos a chance to somersault over the whole joint. It’s that stuff that will make you feel good.
You won’t find this on the group’s discography because De La’s love letter to the fans, the fame, the paper and the pen came on White People, Handsome Boy Modeling School’s sophomore release from 2004 which reunited Plugs 1 through 3. It’s well worth it, even if just to hear Trugoy tell his pen “you my mu****a/I’m a hold you like pi***”. That’s some love right there.