On May 14, 1991 (25 years ago today), De La Soul released their sophomore album, De La Soul is Dead, an edgier follow-up to their beloved debut, 3 Feet High and Rising. To celebrate the anniversary, the group shared a previously unreleased track from the recording sessions for the album, titled “Sho Nuff.” They also made the Posdnous-produced track available for free download.
De La Soul has also set up a couple physical memorials to commemorate the album in New York City; One is at 298 Elizabeth St., the location of the Rush Management office where former manager Russell Simmons work, and the other is at the intersection of 37th St. and 8th, where the group recorded the album, at the now-defunct Calliope Recording Studios.
The group also has a website where users can add their name to an in memoriam list and stream the album. “Show your appreciation and support the life of the culture and it’s classic albums,” the site says. “Sign our memorial, let us know that hip hop will not be forgotten.”
Questlove penned a tribute to the album on Instagram, writing, “Riq (@BlackThought) & I have a gajillion #ChangedMyLife!!! moments in music–but NO album prepared us for this now 27 yr old adventure we been more than #DeLaSoulIsDead. It was the 1st waaaaay in advanced released album I ever acquired. Like maybe feb 91? Dude we were so not ready for the left turn they pulled.”
Listen to “Sho Nuff” below, and download it here.
Riq (@BlackThought) & I have a gajillion #ChangedMyLife!!! moments in music–but NO album prepared us for this now 27 yr old adventure we been more than #DeLaSoulIsDead. It was the 1st waaaaay in advanced released album I ever acquired. Like maybe feb 91? Dude we were so not ready for the left turn they pulled. For starters it was amazing to hear a hip hop LP not 100% beat supplied by @breakbeatlou's #UltimateBeatsAndBreaks compilation. Using UB&B was like turning in college finals w just wiki info as your only source. It's a records compilation that saved you the arduous task of having to NOT steal that #RufusThomas 45 from your Uncle's collection like he wouldn't catch on once his once strong collection was now just whittled down to #JohnnyMathis greatest hits & the non "breakable" #LouRawls xmas LP) it was a more coherent sample based album than previously released (by that point the throw anything in the pot & watch it boil method of #ItTakesANationOfMillionsToHoldUsBack #AmerikkkasMostWanted #PaulsBoutique #3FeetHighAndRising #BazerkBazerkBazerk #YoungBlackTeenagers (debut LP) was becoming illegal (thx Biz lol). And I guess you *could* say #DLSID is the ushering of the #renaissanceperiod of upscale NYC hip hop in which those boring jazz records in mom and dad's collection were now given new life. 91 is my second fav year of hip hop (88 is first, 98 is close 3rd)–bringing it back home, this album and it's CONTINUING play in my walkman in 91 & the year after I can safely say gave birth to The Roots. 25 years ago this changed our lives.