Nostalgic music journo's always cite De La Soul's massively successful debut album "3 Feet High & Rising" as a Hip Hop classic, and yet while few would argue with that sentiment, it was their sophomore LP "De La Soul Is Dead" that, in my humble opinion, was the superior release.
De La Soul obviously had a problem with their 'Daisy Age' concept that formed the backbone of their artistic direction on their first album. Maybe they were sick of the idea, maybe they were worried about getting pigeon-holed as a novelty rap act. So their 2nd album had a much different concept...kill the 'Daisy Age' off completely so they can get on with doing what they do best, make phat Hip Hop music.
Of course, reviews at the time weren't kind. With the first LP so well-received, critics and some fans alike were upset that De La had chosen such a different direction and chose to discredit this album. Bottom line is that "De La Soul Is Dead" has all the ingredients that made "3 Feet..." so compelling (the skits, the Prince Paul production, the wildly-varied subject matter etc.) but rather than get bogged down with 'hippy' stylings and day-glo 70's-esque imagery, De La evolved with the times. Perhaps they were too far ahead of their time with this one, who knows.
So much has been said about the tracks on this album...all I'll say is that rarely do you find an album as cohesive as "De La Soul Is Dead" which is devoid of filler, contains at least a half-dozen stand-out singles and some of the most original lyrics and production you'll ever hear. Buy it NOW!