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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > May 2019 - Bryan Adams > DE LA SOUL 30 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER

DE LA SOUL 30 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER

THIRTY YEARS AF TER 3 FEET HIGH AND RISING REVOLUTIONISED HIP-HOP, DE LA SOU L ARE STILL HONOURI NG THE CU LTURE AND TAKING THE GENRE FORWARD. WITH THEI R ALBUMS SOON TO BE AVAI LABLE DIGITALLY, A NEW GE NERATION IS LEARN ING ABOUT WHAT THE DAISY AGE SPIRIT REALLY MEANS. AS THE TRIO’S MASEO TELL CLASSIC POP: “THREE BLACK MEN STAYING TOGETHER FOR SO LONG IS BEAUTIFU L AND IMPORTANT.”

It’s rightly been celebrated recently that De La Soul’s groundbreaking debut album 3 Feet High And Rising is 30 this year. Less remarked upon is how the anniversary means the trio’s members are now all either aged 50 (Trugoy The Dove), about to reach the milestone (Posdnuos hits 50 in August) or able to mock their greying bandmates for being so ancient (Maseo doesn’t reach his half-century until March 2020).

Having met at high school in Long Island, New York, it seems unlikely that the trio immortalised as teenage goofballs in the videos for Eye Know and Me, Myself And I are now such veterans. Not least because De La Soul still carry themselves with the infectious enthusiasm of the high school kids mucking about in the skits on 3 Feet High And Rising. It’s a spirit De La Soul are happy to be associated with all these years later.

“I’m a grandfather now,” laughs Maseo, De La Soul’s resident DJ, aka Plug Three. “So yeah, 3 Feet High feels a long time past. But, y’know, life is real outside of the music business. Dealing with all those clichés about being 50? That’s not my thing. Fifty is 50, time is time. What I do know is, 3 Feet High And Rising was a beautiful moment in time. So if people want to talk to me about that record, I’m happy, because reflecting on moments like that is always beautiful. Looking at that record is looking at the innocence of development, and we can never be that innocent again.”

If Maseo, Posdnuos and Trugoy (who now goes by his real first name of Dave) aren’t so innocent, they do a good job of hiding it. Their most recent album And The Anonymous Nobody... in 2016 was as adventurous as ever, fitting guests including David Byrne, Damon Albarn, Usher, Little Dragon and even The Darkness singer Justin Hawkins into their celebratory universe. Seeing De La Soul run through classics like The Magic Number and A Roller-Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays’ live is to witness three men still in love over communing with their audience. “We enjoy being on stage, sure,” enthuses Maseo. “We love it, man. Anyone who’s dreamed of being in music dreams of being on stage. But I have to reconcile that I’m getting older and that travelling is tiring.”

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About Classic Pop

Issue 52 of Classic Pop is on sale now! This month, we have an exclusive interview with Bryan Adams and get the inside track on his adventure-packed 40 years in music plus we meet Howard Jones who tells us why he's returning to his synth-pop roots for new studio album, Transform. Classic Pop celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 2 Tone movement by speaking to those who made it happen including Jerry Dammers, Lynval Golding, Pauline Black and Ranking Roger; hip-hop legends De La Soul reveal the ties that have kept them together since their 1989 breakout LP 3 Feet High And Rising and we also talk to Toyah Willcox who explains why she's revisiting her 2008 album In The Court Of The Crimson Queen. Elsewhere, we interview Erasure's Andy Bell, pop tunesmith Guy Chambers and A Flock Of Seagulls. We also have unseen photos of Nick Heyward and Haircut 100. Our Classic Album is Soul II Soul's Club Classics Vol One and we serve up a buyer's guide to Japan and David Sylvian. Our packed new album reviews section includes Howard Jones, Morrissey, The Cranberries and The Waterboys. On the reissues front, Stephen Duffy's wonderful I Love My Friends makes its debut on vinyl plus there are re-releases from Heaven 17, Stevie Nicks, Julian Cope and more. In our live reviews section, we check out gigs by The Specials, Giorgio Moroder, Emika and Stewart Copeland.