De La Soul Rock A DJ Shadow Beat Like An ’80s Park Jam (Audio)

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Although formed in the late 1980s, De La Soul has always paid tribute to Hip-Hop’s pioneers. The presentation of Posdnuos, Dave, and Maseo often honor the tight routines, slang, and style that came out of New York City in the ’70s and early ’80s. Many of the Native Tongues groups had the blessing and support from some of the same figures responsible for Hip-Hop’s earliest days, and its pivot onto radio, television, and mass consumption.

DJ Shadow is a fellow purveyor of the original ways. The Davis, California producer, artist, and turntablist has honored Hip-Hop’s past while stretching the culture and genre to new places. Earlier this decade, he and Jurassic 5 co-founder Cut Chemist toured using Afrika Bambaataa’s actual records. The “Renegades Of Rhythm” kept those Bronx park club and Downtown club traditions alive, using vintage wax for provenance.

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Shadow and De La Soul cross paths on “Rocket Fuel.” The track gives off a classic vibe, reminiscent of the park jams in the 1980s that cultivated Hip-Hop to its global expansion. The single combines the elements of scratching akin to Grandmixer DST, a melodic chorus in the vein of Cold Crush Brothers, and vocal interplay between Plug 1 and Plug 2. The vernacular and delivery honor the pioneers while suggesting a timelessness to Hip-Hop’s building blocks.

Expressing his excitement about his latest single, DJ Shadow said, “It’s been a while since my last album, The Mountain Will Fall, and the corresponding tour. And since the tour ended, I’ve been mostly silent.  This is because I’ve been focused and working on a ton of music. I usually try to avoid hyperbole, but things are about to get very exciting around here. For ‘Rocket Fuel,’ my heroes De La Soul join me in a collaborative blast of pure Hip-Hop adrenaline.”

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Notably, Shadow and De La are presently label-mates at Mass Appeal Records. De La previously confirmed that Nas’ label would be home to their upcoming album, produced by DJ Premier and Pete Rock.

The single is set to be featured on DJ Shadow’s forthcoming album due to drop later this year, and will also appear in Madden NFL 20. Previously, DJ Shadow has collaborated with De La Soul’s Plug 1 on “Stay The Course,” also featuring Talib Kweli.

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DJ Shadow press photograph (by Derick Daily) provided by Run Music.