“De La Soul Is Dead” Turns 25 Today. This Playlist Celebrates the Album’s Samples & More (Mixtape)
Today (May 14) marks the 25th anniversary of De La Soul Is Dead, the sophomore full-length album from the iconic Long Island, New York trio. Following up their inventive 1989 debut 3 Feet High and Rising, the album featured the group’s signature skits and instantly recognizable Rap styles. Buoyed by singles “A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturday,” “Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey),” and “Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa”/”Keepin’ the Faith,” the LP was the second De La Soul album to be produced in its entirety by Prince Paul, a fact which alerts Heads to the plethora of deep cuts to be found in the form of sample material.
To celebrate the album’s quarter-century milestone and the remarkable cornucopia of sampled songs found, Who Sampled and Wax Poetics teamed up for a celebratory mixtape. Featuring not only the original versions of sampled material, the tape also includes songs from the album and a few remixes throughout its 41-song track list, mixed by Chris Read. Listeners can enjoy everything from the obscure to the familiar in the form of tracks like the Lafayette Afro Rock Band’s “Hihache” and Eric B & Rakim’s “Eric B Is President.”
25 years later, it’s safe to say De La Soul is very much alive.