A/V Room









De La Soul - The Grind Date

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 Lee.

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 beat.

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, Outkast-style.

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 old-school.





Track listing:
1. Much More
Real™ l Windows™
2. The Grind Date
3. Shopping Bags (She Got From You)
Real™ l Windows™
4. No
Real™ l Windows™
5. Church
Real™ l Windows™
6. It's Like That
Real™ l Windows™
7. Rock Co. Cane Flow
Real™ l Windows™
8. He Comes
Real™ l Windows™
9. Verbal Clap
Real™ l Windows™
10. Come On Down
Real™ l Windows™
11. Days Of Our Lives
Real™ l Windows™
12. The Future
Real™ l Windows™

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