De La Soul is an American hip-hop trio of Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Maseo, formed in 1987 in the Amityville area of Long Island, New York. They are best known for their eclectic sampling, quirky lyrics, and contributions to the evolution of jazz rap and alternative hip-hop subgenres. The three formed the group in high school, catching the attention of producer Prince Paul with a demo tape of the song "Plug Tunin'." With its playful wordplay, innovative sampling, and witty skits, the band's debut album, '3 Feet High and Rising', has been called "a hip-hop masterpiece."
They are original members of the progressive collective known as the Native Tongues, which included A Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifah, Black Sheep, Monie Love, and founding members the [Invalid Artist]. Their output throughout the '90s, 1991's 'De La Soul Is Dead,' 1993's 'Buhoone Mindstate' and 1996's 'Stakes Is High,' while not as commercially successful as their debut, were all formative for hip-hop and are now widely considered cult classics.
After 2004's critically acclaimed 'The Grind Date,' and winning a Grammy for their collaboration with Gorillaz on their single "Feel Good Inc." in 2006, De La Soul went on hiatus sans a few singles and an EP, returning in 2016 with the crowd-funded 'And the Anonymous Nobody.' In 2023, after years of legal battles over rights and ownership, De La Soul regained access to their back catalog from Tommy Boy Records and finally released their classic albums on streaming services for the first time. Unfortunately, it was bittersweet after the unfortunate passing days before the release of original member Dave 'Trugoy' Jolicoeur, who passed away at 54 after suffering from congestive heart failure diagnosed in 2017.
Industry rumors suggest an untitled tenth album may be released with production from Pete Rock and DJ Premier.
Dave Jolicoeur AKA Trugoy The Dove / Plug Two / Plug 2
Kelvin Mercer AKA Posdnuos / Plug Won / Plug 1
Vincent Mason AKA Pasemaster Mase / Maseo / Plug Three