De La Soul - "The Grind Date" X "Rock Co.Kane Flow" feat. MF Doom

Few groups in hip hop history garner more respect that the Long Island trio De La Soul.  They are some of the most influential artists of the genre that helped bring it into the 90's with a wealth of classic albums from 3 Feet High and Rising to Buhloone Mindstate.  Along with A Tribe Called Quest and The Jungle Brothers, they were the cornerstone of they were the cornerstone members of the Native Tongues Posse (a collective that would later birth Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Common).  In the early part of their career Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Maseo were some of the founders of the jazz rap subgenre (along with their fellow Native Tongue members and the Digable Planets), but they are the group of the subgenre that have best adapted their sound to modern musical tastes.

The Grind Date, released in 2004, was perhaps the most overlooked and underrated album of the past decade.  MTV and BET refused to give much (or any) airplay to the album, claiming that the group was no longer culturally relevant and didn't appeal to the target demographic.  Ironically, this came a year before the group was featured on the Gorillaz' hit, "Feel Good Inc."

Anything but being culturally irrelevant, The Grind Date is a remarkably modern album that cut back on the interludes and skits that had proliferated the group's previous albums.  On the album, the group moves away from their jazz rap origins and samples several R&B, new wave, funk, and progressive rock as the backdrop for project.  The album also received several very good guest appearances from the likes of Ghostface Killah, Common, Flava Flav, and MF Doom.  The final track of the album, "Rock Co.Kane Flow," is one of my favorite songs of the decade, featuring a heavy hitting Jake One beat (that samples Space's "Deliverance") and Posdnuos and Trugoy trading superb verses with MF Doom.  In response to the group's critics, Posdnuos rhymes that,

You go lights, camera, action with no makeup,
We De La to the death, or at least until we break up.
Here's a couple of nice guys who finished first,
So nice try, but the prize is ours dispersed.
They say the good die young, so I added some
bad-ass to my flavor to prolong my life over the drum.
Everyone cools off from bein hot,
It's about if you can handle bein cold or not!
And we was told to hop on no one's dick by Prince Paul,
We stayed original ever since y'all.
First to do a lot of things in the game, but the last to say it,
No need to place it on a scale to weigh it.
And don't do it for the plays or to raise the bar,
Yet it's raised anyway, it's so amazing, are
the three L.I. brothers from another way of thinkin
Hey your lady's winkin, I think you need to control that whore
or I'll. have to hold that

Anyway you look at it, you can't deny that The Grind Date is a very good album from top to bottom.

Peace, Love, & De La,

"The Grind Date"

"Rock Co.Kane Flow" (feat. MF Doom)

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