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January 31, 2005

Grind Date: Very Good But...

The latest DeLa album is pretty slammin' but it's not fun. The demands of the business of being the age they have attained has squeezed all the humor out of their album. OK, DeLa, you're X years in the game, serious with multiple mortgages, kids and troubles. It's like they don't party any more.

This is a workman-like album working on a formula that is anti-forumula but formula nonetheless. 'Trying People' from Bionix was clearly the deepest cut they ever did and they knew that. So there's several cuts in that vein on Grind Date. And just as predictably as every other rap group on the planet speaks their producer's name over the track, DeLa says they are whack for doing so. No it's not sucka-MC talk but it is all the same.

DeLa shows the world what they are not. They are not trifling. They are not unskilled. They are not lightweights. But damn!

But what's up with Dres and Black Sheep? Why are the Natives still dragged along implied on every record?

DeLa collaboration is something they do better than any other group. In that, they are a whole section of the industry in miniscule (of course, like nobody else). Only De La could put Flava Flav on the same track which was essentially sampled from the last album where the Beastie Boys were guests. And it works. Everything DeLa does works, and that's what the Grind Date is all about, thematically.

There are enough little gritty bits of innovation and lyrical content to keep me jabbering for a while, not to mention some standout flow, although nothing reaches the levels of 'View' which I think is going to stand as Plug 1's dopest. The male backup singers from "Am I Worth y of You" are back.

My favorite cuts are 'Shopping Bags' which ought to blow up big, but how would I know considering that I don't listen to pop radio, and 'He Comes' until the other rapper comes on. But 'Verbal Clap' is the bomb cut.

The Grind Date is straight in the groove of the best of Bionix, and adds a little innovation, but less than is usual for De La. The lack of humor on this one is a disappointment but it's still very good hiphop.

Posted by mbowen at January 31, 2005 12:27 PM

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