There was something about The Native Tongues era during the renaissance of Hip-Hop in the 1990’s. A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Queen Latifah, The Jungle Brothers… and my favorite, De La Soul. Posdanus, Trugoy the Dove and Maseo were trendsetters and artists who changed the face of Hip-Hop at the time. Their debut 3 Feet High and Rising was a breakthrough in sample-based rap music and showed that complex lyricism was still the measuring stick for dope rap music. The passing of Trugoy this week is a bittersweet tragedy. With all the star aligning for a big comeback of the group, The Dove’s death puts a horrible mark on the group’s legacy. With them finally getting the rights to their catalog back, and plans to re-release it all on streaming services for the first time, coupled with their song “The Magic Number” gaining new popularity as the song in the end credits for Spider-man: No Way Home. De La Soul was poised for a major revival and the respect they deserved from the industry. I hope they still get it.
Below is my tribute to the group. 66 of my favorite De La Soul songs that showcase the skill and diversity of one of Hip-Hop’s greatest rap groups of all time.