De La Soul
The Grind Date
(Sanctuary)
De La Soul is one of the rare hip-hop acts that has managed to remain resonant throughout its career. They’ve avoided the lure of the hedonistic gangster rap movement, refused to sell out and always remained firmly planted in their old-school ways. The Grind Date is no different; it’s a throwback to hip-hop’s socially aware beginnings, a simple yet smooth flow, supported by three talented MCs and backed by big juicy beats. It’s far from a party album, but The Grind Date serves as a great warm-up.
—Trevor Savory

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