It's pretty safe to say that De La Soul has a hardcore, dedicated fanbase. So dedicated, in fact, that listeners from across the world put their money where their fandom is to get a new album from the legendary trio, raising over $600,000 via Kickstarter.
With more than enough cash to make some new records, the ever humble De La crew threw a party in New York City this past weekend to celebrate the forthcoming launch of the project. The soiree served as a sort of impromptu listening session as well, with Maseo, Posdnuos, and Dave (f/k/a Trugoy) letting loose a few cuts from the interestingly-titled and the Anonymous Nobody.
Ambrosia For Heads caught up with the trio after the event, talking about the new album, tapping into their fanbase for financial help and what it's like to craft their first fully-independent album to date. The importance of that independence can't be lost on a group who 11 years ago existed in a markedly different musical landscape devoid of streaming, Twitter or blogs.. So when asked what the most important thing about the project was, Maseo cited the group's independence, while Dave went in another direction.
I’d say the fans. I think people have come to support us in doing this record. This record is something that we’d obviously planned on doing but it’s obvious that the route we took to begin working on it was propelled by popular demand, you know? And I think that, for me, I can’t disappoint them. You gotta satisfy these people who said “I’m gonna give them my money. I love these guys.” The amount of flattery makes you wanna not disappoint them or make yourself look bad. I’m supposed to be dope… --Dave
and the Anonymous Nobody, which Maseo believes sounds like nothing "we've ever done," is due out early next year and, reportedly, boasts a healthy feature lineup including 2 Chainz, Common, Estelle, Little Dragon, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Roc Marciano, Snoop Dogg, Usher and more. On top of that, as they revealed in their exclusive interview with DJBooth, the group also created their own music library which they utilize for samples on the upcoming album, bringing in musicians to record hundreds of hours of music to pull from. It's a groundnreaking and veteran move that will allow them to circumvent the kind of legal headaches that popped up when their seminal 3 Ft. High & Rising was released in 1989 regarding its use of samples.
Having caught De La twice in the last two years, first at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas, and then at this year's Riot Fest in Chicago, I can certainly attest to the group's staying power and their ability to move a crowd is as strong as it ever has been.
I'm excited, are you?
[by Jake Krez, who is down with Kickstarter. Follow him on Twitter.]