The 32nd installment of I Used to Love H.E.R., a series in which artists/bloggers/writers discuss their most essential or favorite hip-hop albums and songs, comes from Marc Bianchi, the man behind Her Space Holiday, whose full-length XOXO, Panda and the New Kid Revival comes out Oct. 7 on Mush Records.
Be sure to hit the Mush Records YouTube page for a series of short films Bianchi is releasing as a preview to the record (which is really great, by the way).
De La Soul
De La Soul Is Dead (Tommy Boy, 1991)
there are three records in my collection that have reshaped the way i think about music, and creativity in general. i suppose it is irrelevant to mention what two out of the three are in this half baked little rant. however, the one i will talk about is De La Soul’s masterpiece “De La Soul
in my opinion, this album goes far beyond its weighty banner of being hailed as a “hip hop classic.” it’s simply a classic work of art no matter what genre you apply it to you. “de la soul is dead” is a sonic collage of the light and the dark. humor mixed with horror. the political and the playful. the sublime and the shocking. all the ingredients of the human experience mixed into one rich, vibrant concoction. it’s the subtleties in this album that keeps it timeless and enduring. no matter how many times i let the needle dig into this record, I always find something new to appreciate and learn from. Choruses, that initially introduced themselves as catchy sing alongs, eventually mutate into gritty and insightful social statements. skits, that at first listen are light hearted, and child like, twist into biting and aggressive commentaries. all of it wrapped up into a familiarly sweet spoon full of sugar that helps get the medicine down. like a small kid with quick fists, it’s far tougher than it appears. to me, prince paul is more like a master painter than a super producer. dipping his brush into every
color known to man, while at the same time, keeping all of it from running into a soupy grey mess. focused and incredibly loose all in the same breath. “de la soul is dead” is a testament to originality and limitless expression.
maybe i am reading into it too deeply? or being overly sentimental? i’ve been told that i do that sometimes. So if none of the above appeals to you, let me also just include that “the beats are slamming.”