Thursday, 21 July 2011

De La Soul - 'Say No Go'

Thursday I'm in Love...a chance to share some of my favourite tracks, memories and maybe bag Vanessa Paradis in the process...



De La Soul - 'Say No Go' (1989)


A classic track taken from the seminal debut album from De La Soul, 'Three Feet High and Rising'.

This however will always remind me of my school exchange trip to France in 1990. The mayor of the village where we were staying decided to throw on a disco at the local hall for our final weekend. For me it was a great opportunity to finally win the heart of this Vanessa Paradis lookalike (well I say lookalike, she had long hair and spoke French). Because of the bands Daisy Age sentiment I was dressed accordingly, in a ridiculous flowery shirt and leather peace medallions. I felt like I was a missionary in the Amazon about to educate the local tribe with the message of De La Soul, through the medium of dance and a 12' mix of this song. Instead they obviously thought I was a buffoon as I remained alone on the dance floor desperately trying to catch the eye of my potential mate. Needless to say 6.16 minutes of  the 'Running Man' failed to bag me Vanessa Paradis too. Despite my best efforts, the local village of St Ferriol failed to embrace the charm of De La Soul but thankfully the rest of the world did.


I grew up on Hip Hop and was heavily into it but De La Soul breathed a breath of fresh air to the genre. In an era where it was exclusive and portrayed negatively in the media as being misogynistic and violent, De La Soul's 'Daisy Age' mantra and the Native Tongues collective of which they were part of, portrayed a positive message. It's accessibility was due in part to the innovative samples not normally used in Hip Hop (Steely Dan and in the case of 'Say No Go', Daryl Hall and John Oates) and the ability to poke fun of themselves and of the genre in general. Not to mention the content of their songs which were not as cliched as their counterparts. Victims of their own success? Apart from the 'hippie rap' tag that they couldn't shake off subsequent albums were not as commercially successful but successful in many other ways due to the bands unique style. A Boba Fett nod to you De La Soul!


A yes yes ya'll..more Hip Hop Classics? Click here

Click here for more Thursday I'm in Love posts

Related Posts

De La Soul - 'Say No Go'
4/ 5
Oleh

8 comments

comments
avatar
sfw
21 July 2011 at 07:57

..Great story!!!! That does remind me how in the early 90's a lot of people did end up dressing like the Fresh Prince of Bell Air...what were we...I mean..they thinking!

Reply
avatar
21 July 2011 at 09:25

Well that was the album for me which I thought would be the future of Rap....Rap needed melody!

Reply
avatar
21 July 2011 at 09:35

Nice story of French holiday 'romance'! Good track choice. Great group. PM Dawn are also one of my favourites with an alternative to the 'gangsta' attitude.

Reply
avatar
Jon
21 July 2011 at 12:38

rediscovered 3 Feet High... driving up mountains and around fjords last summer in Norway. Big family favourite now.

Reply
avatar
21 July 2011 at 13:13

Good man Jon. Your daughters musical indoctrination is well ahead of schedule then.

Singing Bear, though the whole De La Soul vibe did spin out some cheap imitators, I remember PM Dawn's 'Set a Drift on Memory Bliss' quite fondly. Will have to dig that out!

Reply
avatar
21 July 2011 at 21:18

Totally digging this! You're right, such a refreshing sound even now. I love rappers that are promoting such a positive message because rap is so full of aimless junk and negative ideas. Good to see a post on these guys, love it.

The Internet Garbage

Reply
avatar
21 July 2011 at 22:49

flycasual...try PM Dawn's album 'Jesus Wept', in particular. 'Dearest Christian' and 'The Bliss Album' get the thumbs up, too. They probably weren't as special as De La Soul but they had something. Hey, Arrested Development, Jungle Brothers and any of Michael Franti's projects all shine a light for positive hip-hop.

Reply
avatar
22 July 2011 at 08:47

Singing Bear. At the time I felt PM Dawn was jumping on a big bandwagon but in retrospect it may have been a little harsh. I will take your advice and investigate. I love the Jungle Bros as they also were part of the Native Tongues collective. As for Michael Franti, a big fan of the 'Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy' and the first two Spearhead albums but stopped listening to his stuff afterwards. Maybe I'm missing out but couldn't help feel that his newer stuff was a bit Reggae 'lite'. 
If you haven't done so already check out the likes of Digable Planets, The Pharcyde or Jurassic 5 they all put the fun back into Hip Hop. While the likes of Gang Starr or Common still gave Rap a positive image without diluting the essence of the genre.

Reply