The Only De La Soul, ‘and The Anonymous Nobody Review You Need To Read

Written by on August 28, 2016



We have waited so patiently for a new De La Soul record. The last legitimate release we got from the trio was 2004’s The Grind Date. That was a minute. Long enough in most circles to put a tombstone on a career that has last decades. However, in this case, I believe that absence makes the heart fonder.

And the Anonymous Nobody is not your typical De La release. So get that out of your dome. Typically, a De La Soul album is an adventure through a record collection. Maseo, Pos, and Dave, usually has enough samples on deck to last a lifetime, however, this time they took a different approach. And the result, for the most part, is satisfying.

The trials and Kickstarters are stuff that legends are made of so I won’t revisit that in this review, but I will say the budget that they raised was enough for them to work with a live band where they recorded 100s of hours of music that gave them an ocean’s worth of samples to pick from.

This new soundscape not only gives De La a different sound, but it also provides an album that is cohesive and warm sounding. And the Anonymous Nobody is an ALBUM in every sense of the word, not a collection of singles.

The first few songs are overshadowed by the song Pain, a clear cut favorite. But for me, the best song out of the first half  is Memory of….. (US). Estelle’s vocals and Pete Rock’s production makes a song that can easily be one of the best in their history. BUT the album gets in full swing by the time we reach track 9, Greyhounds. The story of Greyhounds is made clearer when you reach track 11, Trainwreck. I swear to God Trainwreck sounds like a warm fall day sitting in a Cutlass watching the leaves turn colors. Those three songs are connected in a way that not only alone is worth the price of admission, but it is a clear example of what a rapper can do when they allow their influences and creativity to inspire the music.

“Baby got that skin that can handle years” has to be one of the best lines describing a lady ever.

The magic that is And the Anonymous Nobody is not the fact that De La Soul brought in live instruments because truthfully that is not new to music. The power of this album is the realization that they have been doing this for 30 years!! 30 years, and they still sound as sharp as ever. De La Soul is a testament to how an artist can grow, mature, and still make quality music that rivals raps counterparts in the other genres.

Perhaps the most surprising moment on the album is when 2 Chainz shows up, and brings his Tity Boy bars. Good shit.

All in all I am pleased with De La Soul’s new album. It isn’t a flawless album by any means, but it is probably one of the most creative and cohesive offerings I have heard this year. And the second half of the project is enough to make this the perfect album to let play as you enjoy the upcoming fall season.

3 out of 5.

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