Do Remember: De La Soul & Camp Lo’s So Good (Audio)
Since Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force, Tommy Boy Records has been in on the ground floor of helping out Heads “looking for the perfect beat.” Tom Silverman’s independent label may have started with Dance music roots, but the label proved to be one of the truly trustworthy imprints, supplying music by Stetsasonic, Queen Latifah, Digital Underground, Naughty By Nature, Coolio, House Of Pain, and plenty more.
To many Hip-Hop Heads, the jewel of Tommy Boy’s catalog in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, was De La Soul. The trio from Long Island, New York supplied the label with six albums between 1989 and 2002. The crew’s seminal producer, Prince Paul, had helped Tommy Boy thrive since the mid-1980s, through Stetsa’ and solo works.
In 2000, with a firm grip in the underground Hip-Hop movement, Tommy Boy was figuring itself out. The label known for hit 12″ singles from a series of obscure art wanted to press up music, and see what fans—especially DJs gravitated towards.
Four years removed from Stakes Is High, De La Soul was fast at work on Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump. Five months before the comeback album would hit shelves, Maseo, Posdnous, and Dave (f/k/a Trugoy) would participate in Hip-Hop 101. The compilation would feature Self Scientific—a half-decade before DJ Khalil would be working with Dr. Dre, feature Royce Da 5’9″ before the Sony/Columbia deal, and feature Masta Ace and Strick before EMC was ‘a thing.’
For most consumers though, nothing was more exciting than De La working side-by-side with Camp Lo on “So Good.” Both the “Daisies” and The Lo are products of a hybrid blend of groundbreaking slang, and a close relationship with the old school. These artists are anomalies, out to keep the past alive, while never settling for stagnation. “So Good” brought those worlds together, on a pepped-up song that many Heads missed due to its unlikely format. Late 1990s and early 2000s compilations hid many a gem, and the combination of Geechie Suede, Sonny Cheeba, Posdnous, Dave, and Maseo (on the boards) is kind of like a big deal, especially coming off of Uptown Saturday Night.
If this joint had made A.O.I., would it have gotten the love it deserved?