De la Soul set for 2014 UK tour
Dates in Glasgow, London, Nottingham, Bristol, Manchester, Belfast and more
Twenty-five years on from the release of their era-defining debut album 3 Feet High and Rising, New York hip hop crew De La Soul are something of an anachronism. It’s one of the ironies of their unique career trajectory that what was considered a particularly overground and radio-friendly sound in their heyday might not find it so easy to make a home for itself in the contemporary rap world.
Songs from that record, such as ‘Me, Myself and I’, ‘Say No Go’ and especially ‘The Magic Number’, all endure to this day, of course, so maybe their uncannily accurate pop sensibilities would thrive at any time. Yet there’s something out of time about them. They were easy-going, almost homespun, with a remixed brand of Summer of Love psychedelia to what they did then that suggested they were founded on a love of parental record collections and pop history. This wasn’t music nailed to the late-capitalist edifice of money and machismo that even the genre’s finest high-profile icons currently climb, but rather a reaction to the era’s Public Enemy polemics or NWA anger.
Another irony is that even as their career as a commercially successful singles group ended around 1991’s sophomore De La Soul is Dead record, and since their album sales have dimmed since 2000’s Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump, Dave, Maseo and Posdnuos’ legacies have only grown as they’ve continued to tour and record (they guested on both Gorillaz albums, with 2005’s ‘Feel Good Inc’ a hit on both sides of the Atlantic). Their recent Wu Tang-affiliated first single in nine years, ‘Get Away’, treads little new ground, but there will no doubt be plenty of followers happy to pace it once more with them here.
The Arches, Glasgow, Sat 3 May