Prince Paul Confirms He Has Finished His De La Soul Project
In August of 2022, Prince Paul posted an Instagram photo with De La Soul’s Posdnuos and Maseo, as well as Dres of Black Sheep, and music engineer Scotty Hard. The Grammy Award-winning producer and DJ wrote, “And then this happened…” prompting speculation that he had reunited with De La Soul.
This week, Paul gave speculators reason to smile. In another IG private post one of Hip-Hop’s skit pioneers confirmed something special with De La Soul.
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“This might have been one of the most eventful years I’ve had in quite some time. An unsuspected highlight was the opportunity to revisit and work with De La Soul once again,” he wrote. “I really want to thank them for believing in me once more to get the job done,” tagging Plug 1, Plug 2, and Plug 3. “I want to thank everyone who was involved in helping us make this project a reality. Everybody who I called on to participate and or get advice from.” Paul then acknowledged Scotty Hard and late musician Don Newkirk and Michelle Bayer. The post ended, “A good reason to be excited for 2023!” In the photos, Paul included a composition book titled “De La 2022,” a photo with himself, Pos, and Mase’, as well as a flick of an Emu Systems SP-12 sampler and Akai S950. This is 1980s sampling and production equipment, likely calling back to early De La Soul albums including 3 Feet High And Rising and De La Soul Is Dead. Paul also provided some studio footage, including Scotty as well as MC/producer-turned-drummer/author J-Zone.
De La’s Dave and Pos each acknowledged the post and sent loving notes to Prince Paul.
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While as a member of Stetsasonic, Paul produced 1989’s 3 Feet High And Rising, 1991’s De La Soul Is Dead, and 1993’s Buhloone Mindstate. Despite reportedly beginning sessions as a four-man unit, De La ultimately self-produced much of 1996’s Stakes Is High, with J Dilla, Skeff Anslem, and Spearhead X contributing. Prince Paul was not involved in the final version of the Tommy Boy Records LP.
As label-mates, De La reunited with Paul for 1999’s “More Than U Know” on his Prince Among Thieves LP. Dave appeared on Handsome Boy Modeling School LPs, and Paul handled two tracks on De La’s 2006 compilation, The Impossible: Mission TV Series – Pt. 1.
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De La Soul have long teased fans with an upcoming album produced by DJ Premier and Pete Rock. During summer 2021, the trio obtained their master recordings, with plans to digitally release their Tommy Boy-era catalog. The trio last-released the Grammy-nominated and the Anonymous Nobody… album in 2016. The widely successful crowd-funded effort featured Snoop Dogg, Pete Rock, Roc Marciano, 2 Chainz, Jill Scott, and others. In addition to music, Prince Paul has hosted the 33 1/3 Podcast for Spotify. He also was the first-season subject of Open Mike Eagle’s incredible So What Had Happened Was pod, where he spoke at length about his work with De La.
In 2022, Prince Paul lost one of his closest collaborators, the aforementioned musician and producer Don Newkirk. Paul and Don had worked together since they were high school classmates in Long Island, New York, during the 1980s. That chemistry spilled into groups together, like Baby Elephant, BROOKZILL!, and The Dix.
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Another artist-producer tandem, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, have reportedly reunited for special sequel-themed album.
New music by Posdnuos (with Diamond D) is currently on the official Ambrosia For Heads playlist.
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#BonusBeat: Prince Paul and Don Newkirk’s interview with Ambrosia For Heads’ What’s The Headline podcast discussing their chemistry and By Every Means Necessary, Vol. 1 album: