February: Buhloone Mind State – De La Soul

Boom.

I’ve been patiently waiting to drop this album on the brothers. I’ve spent the last 19 years quielty grumbling to myself about how many people slept on this album. As we’ve been talking ‘Classic Albums’ I thought I’d throw a curve ball. Classic Albums + De La Soul = 3 Feet High and Rising, right? Not in my humble opinion. This is the De La Soul classic album for me. Their strongest work. The tricky third album … tricky as everyone but the hip hop community in general loved their first and nobody really got the 2nd (I dislike it quite significantly). 

So what is this? This is De La Soul in introspective but not up their own arse form. This is De La Soul produced by Prince Paul (the last album produced by him). This is De La Soul with an album produced by one producer rather than a rag bag collection of tracks produced by all sorts (I need to check the notes now). This is ‘fun’ De La Soul but it’s also serious, its experimental as well as back to basics. It’s proper proper Hip Hop and its a proper album. It has a style running through all of its tracks. They all fit and flow together. There is humour and heart felt emotions.

It doesn’t have skits. Thank god. It is skit free (is Paul’s revenge a skit?). It has ‘interludes’. It has a 5 minute instrumental. It has lots of live instrumentation and is sample light. This makes it feel organic. This makes it feel like the output of a, dare I say, ‘band’, not 3 MCs?

It has the best Hip Hop album track ever … I am I be. Discuss.

It might blow up but it won’t go pop.

13 comments

  1. misterstory

    Lyrics to Verse 1 – I am I be … awesomeI am PosdnousI be the new generation of slaveshere to make papes to buy a record exec rakesthe pile of revenue I createBut I guess I don’t get a cut cuz my rent’s a month lateProduct of a North Carolina catwho scratched the back of a pretty woman named HattieWho departed life just a little too soonand didn’t see me grab the Plug Tune fameAs we go a little somethin’ like thislook ma, no protectionNow I got a daughter named Ayana MonayAnd I can play the cowboy to rustle in the doughso the scenery is healthy where her eyes layI am an early bird but the feathers are blackso the apples that I catch are usually all wormsBut it’s a must to decipher one’s queenfrom a worm who plays groupie and spread around the bad germI cherish the twilightI maximize, my soul is the right sizeI watch for the power to run out on the moon(And that’ll be sometime soon)Faker than a fist of kidsspeakin that they’re blackWhen they’re just niggas trying to be GreekOr some tongues who liedand said ‘We’ll be natives to the end’Nowadays we don’t even speakI guess we got our own life to liveOr is it because we want our own kingdom to rule?Every now and then I step to the nowfor now I see back then I might have acted like a foolNow I won’t apologize for itThis is not a bunch of Bradysbut a bunch of black man’s prideYet I can safely sayI’ve never played a sister by touching where her private parts resideI’ve always walked the right side of the roadIf I wasn’t making song I wouldn’t be a thug selling drugsBut a man with a planand if I was a rug cleanerbetcha Pos’d have the cleanest rugs I am.

  2. Guy Hornsby

    I’m looking forward to this. I love De La, and own 3 Feet High obviously, but not this. This was a golden age of hip hop.

  3. David Allison

    I’ll write a longer review when I get chance, oh you bet I will, but in the meantime can I just say – WHAT A FUCKING RECORD. Listened to it like 5 times in a row. I have almost every album they’ve made. Why didn’t I have this? It’s an absolute stone cold killer.

  4. Guy Hornsby

    I’m going to pop back to mine this week to pick this up with old mail as I’ve moved. My review will be there, but delayed. On another note, I want to delete the post with my address, but I can’t see to do this. Any ideas brothers?

  5. Guy Hornsby

    Cheers. Seems like I didn’t have access. Still, I listened to Channel Orange this morning, and love it more every day. Especially Super Rich Kids.

  6. misterstory

    Glad you like it Brother David. My housemates at Uni got sick of this record as I played it non-stop for a year! I can’t get enough of it. When I get annoyed with current Hip Hop I often put this one one to cheer me up.Looking fwd to your thoughts Guy when you can get to your copy. It’s probably on Spotify in the meantime?

  7. Nolan Kane

    So lets get stuck into this:I must admit I have owned this album before; on cassette tape…. For some reason I have never upgraded it and I’m starting to regret that the upgrade didn’t come sooner. First I have to get a bit geeky and correct a few things…. Price Paul had produced all De La Soul’s albums to this point alongside De La Soul. With that I think this was when Prince Paul was in his best time as a producer. I love this album because this is when De La Soul grew up, and unlike other Hip Hop groups became better with age. One of the signs of a great album is having your best 6 songs getting old, and discovering that there are another 6 that are actually even better; this is one of those albums. Aside from the obvious ‘Ego Trippin’ and ‘Breakadawn’ my stand out from when I first bought this album back in the day was’Area’. The lyrics are good, but the beat is in my opinion one of Prince Paul’s best beats.. So simple but spot on. So thank you brother Joseph; this is a winner that I’m glad to have back in my life.

  8. Guy Hornsby

    Brothers, an apology. I only got back to my old place this week and so have only picked up the album now. But it’s on the phone and ready for a full run-through this weekend. I do know Breakadawn, and it’s actually one of my favourite De La tracks, so I am expectant here. In short: bring it on.

  9. David Allison

    So sorry I haven’t got round to posting properly on this. SUCH a great album. Probably my favourite of all the albums we’ve discussed so far. And it’s so great to be reminded of what I LOVE about hip hop. It’s got a freewheeling style that, at times, recalls their debut, but I particularly love is the hints of darker stuff in the lyrics and beats. It’s not a ‘heavy’ album per say, but it’s substantial. It feels satisfying and like a complete entity.So the big question – why the hell didn’t any of us have it? What an overlooked gem. Exactly what this blog should be all about.It did blow it but it didn’t go pop.

  10. Guy Hornsby

    I’ve had another go at this last week and I’ve really enjoyed it. It feels like an old sweater that you find in the bottom of a drawer after years of thinking it’s been thrown out. I’m not blown away exactly, but then it’s something that’s familiar from the past, so it’s more just fitted in warmly again. I don’t feel the need to pile through dozens of listens as it’ll be on the mp3 player for years. Well done Brother Joseph. Amen to hip-hop.

  11. misterstory

    Glad it’s hitting the spot. It is a funny one how nobody really talks about this album. For me it’s DLS at their best. Love the instrumental too and cant get enough of ‘I am I be’

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