Although Long Island hip-hop trio De La Soul have been consistently active since forming in 1987, their decision to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their game-changing debut album 3 Feet High And Rising on this tour raised certain nostalgic expectations which were not met over the course of a good-natured, well-intentioned but ultimately frustrating set.
De La Soul - The Arches, Glasgow
De La Soul hail from a hip-hop tradition based in the community spirit of the block party rather than the exclusive gang mentality of the bling brigade who followed later. So the intention to host a big, happy party for a willing room of guests was there from the outset – but not ultimately the stamina nor the battery of tunes they could have brought to the turntable. At times, their set was so loose it appeared they were making it up as they went along, with DJ/rapper Maseo on one page and bandmates Trugoy and Posdnuos falling back repeatedly on the tired hip-hop device of dividing the crowd for a shouting match.
Eventually, they hit on a novel angle – split the room according to age. The over-40s won the night. “We might do it slow but we do it well,” declared Trugoy.
Not on this occasion. The galvanising hits, Ring Ring Ring, The Magic Number and the George Clinton-sampling Me, Myself And I, arrived late and didn’t stay long, while their Gorillaz collaboration Feel Good Inc, minus Damon Albarn’s beseeching vocal, injected a belated burst of fuzzy funk energy.
Seen on 03.05.14