De La Soul - De La Soul Is Dead
1991 UK pressing on Big Life, VG+
2nd LP by De La Soul. Unfuckwithable Cult Classic.
"No hip-hop album since perhaps L.L. Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out or De la Soul’s first outing has arrived so sonically crafted by personality and musicianship as De la Soul Is Dead. Knee-deep in hooks and rhythmic reversals that play like a history of pop experimentalism (a kazoo whining the opening riff to the Jackson 5’s “Dancing Machine,” nursery rhymes underneath a celebration of black macho), De la Soul Is Dead avoids the usual sophomore slump; these three guys have skipped right up to a case of senioritis, coming off like fidgety, ambitious salutatorians rather than the focused valedictorians they could likely become. Crammed full of startlingly inventive samples and an intelligent, well-spoken defensiveness bred in the onrush of sudden fame and fortune, De la Soul Is Dead confirms first that 3 Feet High and Rising was no fluke and second that these guys are true hip-hop scholars, redefining in jam after jam (with the help of producer Prince Paul) how we listen to, dance to, live with and abide by hip-hop." Rolling Stone 1991