REVIEW: De la Soul’s “And the Anonymous Nobody”

The first proper LP in 12 years by the Strong Island trio.

de-la-soul-and-the-anonymous-nobody-albumDe La Soul, And the Anonymous Nobody (AOI)

The Strong Island trio, return after 12 years sans official LP offering to finally follow 2004’s under-appreciated gem The Grind Date with a solid, soulful return to progressive music, guided by the almighty hand of secret weapon production maven Supa Dave West. With an A-list of guests ranging from Damon Albarn and David Byrne to Snoop and 2Chainz, it’s safe to say that ATAN remains in league with Posdnuous, Trugoy and Maseo’s penchant for the eclectic. While the record may not please fans of De La’s earliest work — and why should they, after nearly 30 years and a damn near impeccable catalogue — it is sure to hit those of us who have always admired the group’s experimental side right where we like it. While the record hits an occasional lull, the high points outweigh the low, and the low ends are sure to be studied by serious producers for years to come. A solid, introspective album for mature hip hop aficionados who don’t live in the past. 7/10 Trial Track: “Pain” ft. Snoop Dogg (Darcy MacDonald)