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De La Soul Is Dead
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“De La Soul Is Dead” is the second studio album by the American hip hop group De La Soul, released on 13 May 13 1991. Produced by Prince Paul, known for his acclaimed work on “3 Feet High and Rising,” this album made history by earning a coveted five-mic rating in the hip-hop magazine The Source.
The album’s title and cover symbolise a move away from the “D.A.I.S.Y.” (Da Inner Sound, Y’all) era, distancing themselves from various cultural influences, including hippies and mainstream hip hop.
One of its tracks, “Oodles of O’s,” found a place on the soundtrack of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4.
In 2020, Rolling Stone recognised its significance by ranking it at number 228 on their list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”
“De La Soul Is Dead” departed from the lighthearted image of their previous album, “3 Feet High and Rising.” While maintaining humour, this record delved into darker satire and cynicism, addressing weighty topics like drug addiction in “My Brother’s a Basehead” and sexual abuse in “Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa.”
Lead single “Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)” encapsulates the album’s mood, reflecting weariness towards aspiring artists trying to ride their coattails while maintaining a playful post-disco groove.
The album also balances its cynicism with more light-hearted tracks, such as the disco-influenced “A Roller Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays'” and the banter-filled “Bitties in the BK Lounge.”
Producer Prince Paul reflected on the album’s goals, stating, “We were trying to prove we weren’t just a one-album act. And there was a lot of disillusionment with the music industry.”
The title “De La Soul Is Dead” and its broken pot of daisies cover art visually represent their break from the “D.A.I.S.Y Age” imagery, challenging stereotypes.
The album features ongoing skits, including a parody of children’s book-and-record read-along sets, where bullies criticise the album. These skits playfully contribute to the album’s unique narrative.
A2 Oodles Of O's
A3 Talkin' Bout Hey Love
A4 Pease Porridge
A5 Skit 1
A6 Johnny's Dead AKA Vincent Mason (Live From The BK Lounge)
A7 A Rollerskating Jam Named "Saturdays"
B1 WRMS' Dedication To The Bitty
B2 Bitties In The BK Lounge
B3 Skit 2
B4 My Brother's A Basehead
B5 Let, Let Me In
B6 Afro Connections At A Hi 5 (In The Eyes Of The Hoodlum)
C1 Rap De Rap Show
C2 Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa
C3 Who Do U Worship?
C4 Skit 3
C5 Kicked Out The House
C6 Pass The Plugs
C7 Not Over Till The Fat Lady Plays The Demo
D1 Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)
D2 WRMS: Cat's In Control
D3 Skit 4
D5 Fanatic Of The B Word
D6 Keepin' The Faith
D7 Skit 5
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