Album review: De La Soul remain true to their thoughtful take on hip-hop in newest album

There’s sufficient innovation to elevate De La Soul a notch above almost all of their contemporaries still operating today.
And the Anonymous Nobody by De La Soul. Courtesy AOI Records
And the Anonymous Nobody by De La Soul. Courtesy AOI Records

And the Anonymous Nobody

De La Soul

(AOI)

Three stars

It has been almost 12 years since De La Soul’s last full-length album. So long, indeed, that casual listeners probably assumed the New York hip-hop veterans threw in the towel ages ago.

Plenty of people had not forgotten them, though: And the Anonymous Nobody was crowdfunded by fans to the tune of US$600,000 (Dh2.2 million). Few will be asking for refunds, because De La have remained true to their thoughtful take on hip-hop, without grasping too hard at the zeitgeist – aside from a slightly incongruous 2 Chainz cameo (Whoodeeni).

Elsewhere, the extensive guest list veers from the logical (Gorillaz pal Damon Albarn on dreamy ditty Here in After) to the downright unexpected (The Darkness’s Justin Hawkins on the not-awful rap/rock crossover Lord Intended).

Nothing threatens to surpass early career highs, but there’s sufficient innovation to elevate De La Soul a notch above almost all of their contemporaries still operating today.

aworkman@thenational.ae

Published: September 5, 2016 04:00 AM

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