In front of the glaring renowned Red Bull sign, a DJ spins to a boxed-in venue for what seems like the longest interlude. Everyone hyped for hip hop’s golden-era originals, De La Soul, with a 28-year catalogue from which to jam out, forgets that it’s a school night.
Hard on their do-as-De-La-does grind, Posdnuos and Dave start the party right on two cuts from their new LP before taking it back to the thump of the Prince Paul-produced Oooh, minus Redman. Through Stakes Is High, De La salute J Dilla, and Maseo throws out the Chaka Khan-blessed All Good, but it would be on build-up for Ego Trippin’ (Part Two) where the party spikes a sharp ascension.
The back-and-forth attempts at screaming the song’s intro take three strikes before finding fever pitch. Scratched and sore throats are tomorrow’s problems; for tonight, De La ain’t taking no shorts! Dave stresses he’s aware we’re fiending for the 28-year-old Me, Myself & I. Alas, not yet. Playing one side of the crowd off the other, Pos and Dave keep the gig amped.
As soon as Tower Of Power’s Ebony Jam drumbeat kicks in, it’s a summer weekend in 1991 for their much-loved A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays” and finally, the OG of them all, Maseo projectile-punches that hyped Funkadelic sample for Me, Myself & I, sending the audience more than knee-deep into the groove. By now, we are mere puppets on a string, as the puppet masters thank us for coming and those who contributed to the Kickstarter which crowdfunded their new album, before closing on Buddy.
Not taking the bait for their finale, nobody moves an inch until we hear that answering machine message, an encore of Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey). This is hip-hop uncut! De La provides tonight, the purest fix straight to the AC vein.