In 1987, a trio known as De La Soul formed from Long Island, NY roots and changed the landscape of hip-hop as we knew it. Now, for an incredible 30 years they have rocked us with their De La songs full of inscrutable samplings, whimsically irreverent lyrics, social commentary, light rhythm and laid back rhymes. They have gained respect within and outside the hip hop community with their contributions to rap, as well as jazz, funk, soul and alternative genres. Not only are their musical innovations acclaimed and respected worldwide, but they paved a path for many alternative rap groups to come after them.
Grammy Award winning group De La Soul’s latest album “And The Anonymous Nobody” debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard hip-hop chart. The group’s first album in 12 years was crowd funded and became the second most funded Kickstarter project in history, with over $600,000 pledged. “And The Anonymous Nobody” featured contributions from Damon Albarn, David Byrne, Little Dragon, Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz, Usher, Estelle, Jill Scott, Pete Rock, Roc Marciano and more. Breaking new ground and crossing genres, the album achieved critical acclaim, released in August 2016 and landing at No. 2 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart and No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart.
De La Soul’s seminal debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising (1989), was a critical smash. "Me, Myself and I" became a huge hit, further cementing the group's popularity. De La Soul's second album, De La Soul Is Dead (1991)was a much darker album. It featured skits that criticized the direction that hip hop was heading in at the time. 1993's Buhloone Mindstate and 1996's Stakes Is High saw the group evolve a new sound and cement their position as mainstays of the alternative hip hop movement.
In 2005, they were featured on the Gorillaz single, "Feel Good Inc." and on the LA Symphony single "Universal". "Feel Good Inc" also won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Collaboration.
On Valentine's Day 2014, De La Soul became the first group ever to give away their entire catalogue to fans online for 25 hours. Frustrated by sample clearance issues and a lack of support from their previous label, their controversial move was celebrated by fans and won the group a Webby Award for innovation.