First Serve (De La Soul)

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So brothers, I present to you a hip hop concept album. Now before you get it in your head, Kanye’s 808’s wasn’t concept, it was experimental; two VERY different things. 

 

I must admit when I read about this album I left it alone. I don’t generally like concept albums because they rarely stick to the concept.. they become experimental, or are a compilation with in between links (Handsome Boy Modeling School). More – so a hip hop concept album? The thing is that actually many artists have done concept albums; first to mind for me is Scarface – The Diary.  More recently there is no better example than Plan B – Striktland Banks which pushed the concept to the max. So it can happen, some good and bad. 

 

I digress; let’s talk about ‘First Serve’. I like this for so many reasons. You’re not going to be blown away, this is De La through and through. This isn’t a good thing, it’s a great thing. 

 

The best way to do this for me is point form. I like this album because….

– Plug One and Two do what they maybe did on one or two songs an album traditionally; made party joints and told a story at the same time (think ‘It Aint All Good’)

– They stick to their story the whole way through and actualy show and interesting beginning, middle and end.  

– The album makes me dance, has catchy lyrics but still gets you into the story. 

 

The reason that this isn’t a De La album is that it’s the brain chils of another producer. I like that fact. I’m glad they’ve done this album but not as De La Soul. Enough can’t be spoken about having an alias. They have got to do this with this album. 

 

When listening, give it a couple listens, some tracks are more and club radio than others. All are very catchy.  The interlude’s are important to the story (some very funny) and keep it all consistant.

 

I’m so looking forward to more De La Soul hip hop, but I do hope First Serve get a guest spot on a track or two. 

 

It took me a few months to buy but I’m happy that this album is in my life and I hope you feel the same. 

 

Enjoy brothers!

 

 

14 comments

  1. David Allison

    Hi Nolan. Just back from a week away and find this waiting on my doorstep. Thanks. I LOVE De La so I’m already pretty excited about listening to this one. Will report back in due course…

  2. misterstory

    Cheers Nolan. Nice for this to be waiting for me when I got home from holidays too. I’ve had a listen and have mixed feelings to be honest. I’ll keep going though as it’s unfair to write much more after one listen.Cheers Brother.

  3. David Allison

    Brother Joey (how was the honeymoon btw?!), please give this more than one listen. It’s bloody fantastic.I was pretty sceptical at first. Not sure I give a shit about the ‘concept’ part of the album (band goes rags to riches – like, who cares?) and my heart sank when I heard the first skit with someone doing someone’s momma’s voice, but CHRIST what a set of tunes. Obviously feels pretty old skool and there’s a live band feel in a kind of The Roots kind of a way – and it even feels sort of disco-ish at time. It’s certainly poppier than a lot of their output.But as a collection of songs, it’s the strongest they’ve made in a very, very long time. I fear this will sink without trace (not helped by the confusing title and concept stuff), but it’s a shame if it does, cos it’s the PERFECT soundtrack to summer and parties etc.A great find, Nolan. Thanks buddy.

  4. misterstory

    I’ll defo give it more than one go brother, don’t worry. My heart sunk when I saw the back cover and then sank further with the first skit as you’ve said. I then checked the back of the CD again and only saw 3 interludes and thought, I can live with only three skits … but they’re all over it. Plastered all over what appears to be a set of amazing tracks. Give me the tracks and no bullshit. Seriously, what were they thinking, that all the skits would improve the album? WTF!!!! The tracks are awesome. The disco vibe is wicked, ‘Must Be The Music’ (I think its called) is a killer … until theck cock it up with the skits. Am I just a boring old duffer? Maybe so. Awesome tracks but I really don’t know when I would listen to it due to all the bullshit. It would be the perfect sountrack to a summer party … but can you imagine playing that at a BBQ and just when everyone’s in the groove that silly french bird pops up on the phone for 2 whole minutes?

  5. Guy Hornsby

    I really liked this first listen. Didn’t really care about the concept, in fact i’d forgotten all about that by half way through. It’s just really nice, bright hip-hop, great lyrics, good flow. In short: so far, so good.

  6. misterstory

    Oh no. Does this make the grumpiest old man of all the brothers? I guess we knew that anyway. I can’t disagree with any of the comments made about the music. I 100% agree. Awesome tracks, lyrically strong, ‘bright’ is a great word Guy. It is crystal clear. Tight Hip Hop. I am just really struggly with the skits / concept. It will stop me listening to this album I think.

  7. Guy Hornsby

    I’m with you on the skits. They were ok first time, but grated a bit the next time round. Maybe I’m getting old too (GETTING!?). The music’s lovely though, really big, bold, brassy hip-hop, that makes me want to go into the sun and drink gin n’ juice.

  8. Nolan Kane

    I must admit. After sending it out I thought that the skits are a bit rubbish. They do hold the album together in regards to linking the songs up. I’m not saying they’re good but they are part of the over all concept. Put it in your iTunes, and delete the skits.. problem solved for all summer BBQ’s. ;O)

  9. misterstory

    I set out to delete the ‘interludes’ but there’s loads of skits tied into the tracks at the end of the tracks and stuff. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  10. David Allison

    Was just listening to this in the car and wishing to god there was a way to delete the skits. I could do it with Toast and a bit of fiddling around.It renders an album that’s almost an instant classic into something slightly less. And speaking with my writer head on, if they couldn’t tell the ‘story’ without endless blabbing between the songs, they shouldn’t have bothered.What is it about rappers and skits?!

  11. misterstory

    …. still struggling with these skits brothers. It will inspire a new post though. I’ll get on with it now.

  12. misterstory

    I think its worse in the car to be honest. all your attention’s on it and it really highlights how good the tunes are and how terrible to skits are. Its a crime. Truly. What were they thinking? You can’t even blame it on the exuberence of youth. Aren’t they like 50 years old?

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