Review: Jack Foley
HIP-HOP legends, Da La Soul, reunite for their eighth studio
album in suitably poetic fashion, confirming their position at
the top of the hip-hop chain.
The Grind Date marks the trio's first release for Sanctuary
Urban Records Group (SURG) - the offshoot of Sanctuary Records
being headed by Beyonce Knowles' father, Matthew.
Needless to say, he is very excited by the collaboration, stating:
"Hip-hop's dominance in the marketplace is sprinkled with
a handful of creative, envelope-pushing artists, and De La Soul
is one of them. I am happy to begin our foray into the hip-hop
industry with veterans such as De La Soul."
Fans should be happy too, for The Grind Date is a strong
return to form for Posdnuos, Trudoy (Dave) and Maseo, featuring
a number of different styles, as well as some high-profile collaborations.
Partly produced by New York's finest ‘Mad Lib’, the
album also features guest appearances from the likes of Ghostface,
Common, Carl Thomas, Sean Paul and legendary film director, Spike
It makes for quite an eclectic mix, with elements of soul, funk,
gospel and Rasta thrown into the hip-hop mix.
Kicking off with the melody-strewn track, The Future,
which recalls the infectious flavour of their earlier work, wrapped
around some lush angelic backing vocals, it sets things up in
fine style for what follows.
The trio's own personal favourite follows in quick succession,
in the form of the wordy Verbal Clap, which features
a telling social commentary about peace set against a fairly hard-hitting
A Motown-inspired intro heralds the arrival of the soul-laden
Much More, featuring Yummy, and which provokes favourable
comparisons with the old-school antics of Jurassic Five, before
the hip-grinding Shopping Bags funks things up a little,
Title track, The Grind Date, kicks off with the telling
lyric, 'I love life, man, life is beautiful, it's just the shit
in it that's fucked up', before heading off into its upbeat melodies
that recall the gloriously happy-go-lucky riffs of Maceo's work
on Mint Royale's single, Show Me.
And so the classic cuts keep on dropping.
Spike Lee adds some heavyweight credentials to the quintessential
Church, another of the album's highlights, while Carl
Thomas' smooth vocals provide a nice counter-balance to the lyrics
on It's Like That.
Watch out, too, for the Ghostface track, He Comes, which
kicks off with another Motown throwback, and the booty-shakin
Come On Down, which looks set to rock the dancefloors
of the NY club scene.
Indeed, there's barely a bad track on the long-player, which
should go down a storm on the hip-hop circuit.
If you want it done properly, baby, make sure it's done by the
1. Much More
2. The Grind Date
3. Shopping Bags (She Got From You)
6. It's Like That
7. Rock Co. Cane Flow
8. He Comes
9. Verbal Clap
10. Come On Down
11. Days Of Our Lives
12. The Future