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Saturday, 7 September 2013

Know It All

De La Soul were a massive part of 1989 and performed the rarely achieved trick of completely re-writing and re-wiring hip-hop, if only briefly. For a while their love beads, their Daisy Age, their 'conscious' lyrics and clubby t-shirts and 60s hippy band samples made everything before seem like old hat. Or old cap. A few hip-hop groups followed them through- Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest. Then they backtracked a bit and went more old school. I saw them live twice, both times while standing in a field. The first was a Glastonbury on Saturday afternoon in 1990- it was an unparalleled disappointment. It was what critics used to accuse hip-hop of being, just three men shouting over drumbeats. A year later they played the first day of the Cities In The Park mini-festival in Heaton Park, alongside ACR, Durutti Column, Revenge (during Peter Hook's Sisters of Mercy tribute act phase), 808 State, Electronic and Happy Mondays. De La Soul played early on but to a large crowd. And with the same lack of finesse and lack of charm they'd brought to Glastonbury. Shame really, because Three Feet High And Rising is excellent and there are parts of the rest of their catalogue worth looking a go. And as I said at the start, in 1989 they were inescapable.

Eye Know (The Know It All Mix)

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