Oodles and Oodles of De La Soul

My FAVORITE group, ever.

LIKE EVER

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 1.38.33 PM

Gave their fans an amazing Valentine, gems from their catalog

FOR FREE!!

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 1.38.01 PM  Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 2.08.07 PMI have been taken back.

Way, way, WAY BACK.

Way back, to a time in my life where rap music (particularly the amazing, socially conscious rap music that dominated the era) was all that tethered me to this Earth. Every time I listen to De La or Tribe or Mos Def or Common, I can remember, with perfect clarity, where I was when I first heard the songs. Remember the journey to the record store (remember those!?!) to buy a cassette tape (!!) or CD. I can remember listening to some songs on my Walkman and Discman (!!!) until the batteries died. And reading the liner notes for thank yous, trying to spot familiar names. And rendering my favorite CDs to scratched, horrible messes from carrying them around everywhere. I remember running out to buy the latest Source Magazine after spotting someone reading it on the train.

I remember long lines to get into venues. Feeling all of my awkward older-teen-on-the-cusp-of-womanhood feelings surrounded by the beautiful women who frequent rap shows. I can remember jumping with those packed crowds, taking elbows to the head. I remember shyly asking for autographs and photos. I even remember spotting Posdnuos in SOHO and being too bashful to say hi…then immediately regretting it and spending 15 minutes trying to figure out where he’d gone, LOL!

I remember choosing, from all of my music collection, the songs of these men to take with me abroad. I remember the sense of home they gave me when I was so far from mine. I can remember falling asleep to I Be Blowin’. I can remember weeping when I heard that Tribe was breaking up. I remember their last concert and the finality of that era of my life ending when we left the venue.

It’s shocking to think that some of these things happened twenty+ years ago. My life is so many light years better than it was at that time. But, there are days when I’d give anything to relive those moments. To hear those songs for the first time, again. To go to a show and be so damn glad to be in the same space as those I so admired.

I feel glimmers of it when I listen. And it feels real good.

Thanks, De La Soul.

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9 thoughts on “Oodles and Oodles of De La Soul

  1. Awesome post! Why is it that the music of our teens stays with us forever? There are songs that I hear that still always make me think of my high school commute with my bf, each of us with one earbud from her walkman so that we could listen to the same song together and sing along (outloud on a NYC bus in that annoying way that only teens do).

  2. Love this band, I saw them many moons ago at an outdoor group concert with other bands. Was terrific! I remember those trips to the record store (and I actually remembering buying, GASP, vinyl records!! Oh, and not because it was retro and cool and I was a dj but because well, that’s what was at the store). I shall now listen to the freebies. Yay!! Thanks for posting. 🙂

  3. I was going through boxes in my closet the other day and came across my old Discman. Took me way back, too. There was a cd inside- Ooooohhh- On the TLC Tip. Ha! When I find some batteries you better believe I’m going to rock it around the house.

    • Ahahaha! Yes! I remember my older (and much hipper) cousin choreographing a dance to “Waterfalls” for a talent show at a Catholic summer camp… I thought she was THE COOLEST, especially since the rest of the acts were considerably less hip (if my memory serves me right, a kid played a solo on a hammered dulcimer… ha!). Think I’m going to go download the whole TLC catalogue now, hahahahaha!

  4. I could have written this post. ALL I listened to from about 1998-2003 was Common, Mos, Talib, Erykah, Badu, Bilal, Tribe….. The only way I could stay up midnights working the auto assembly line was to blast Reflection Eternal or Like Water for Chocolate and rap while I was attaching steering columns or whatever. I saw De La play a free show in Detroit in around 2000 and it was… PURE MAGIC. So many great times seeing shows live…. I cried during Talib’s tour in 2001. (For Women. Has there ever been a better song written about women in hip hop!?) and have still never quite recovered from seeing Erykah tour with Mama’s Gun. I STILL think about that show all the time.

    I am a better, more aware, socially conscious and politically engaged person because I listen to hip hop. Some of my most profound moments acknowledging my privilege came from listening to it. And going to shows where I was generally the only white person around for miles and miles? You can’t pay for that kind of education. De La for Life La.

  5. De La Soul was the first cd I ever got my hands on. My grandparents rented out apartments to college kids and one of the students left “Three Feet High and Rising” behind when they moved out (how dare they!) My grandma gave it to me. I was only like 13 years old at the time and this was my first intro to rap music. From the first time I heard it I was instantly hooked and obsessed. Awe sweet memories. Thanks for sharing!

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