20 Years Ago, De La Soul REFUSED to go POP

This year marks the 20th anniversary of a remarkable year in music. Over the 12 months of 1993, Queen Latifah, Salt 'n' Pepa, Snoop Dogg, A Tribe Called Quest, the Wu-Tang Clan and more than a dozen other rappers released albums that helped to change the sound of America. Among them was a record by De La Soul that challenged the music industry — an industry then obsessed with taking hip-hop to the mainstream. The album is now considered a classic. 

When the three members of De La Soul began work on Buhloone Mindstate, they had pretty much had it with the music industry, says David Jolicoeur aka Trugoy, one of the group's two MCs. "We had been through the 'machine,' " he says. "I think we were truly burnt out."

Trugoy, along with group mates Posdnuos and P.A. Mase, scored a major success with De La's 1989 debut, Three Feet High and Rising. The trio immediately established itself as one of hip-hop's most eclectic and creative groups, especially in their storytelling, says journalist and filmmaker Raquel Cepeda. "They upped the ante for other people to tell wonderful stories through their music," she says. "For example, Wu-Tang Clan — who you wouldn't necessarily put in the same category, if you will, with De La Soul, but at the same time, they kind of set it up."

VIA trueskool

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