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De La Soul

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Amityville, New York, United States (1987 – present)

De La Soul is a massively influential group, hailing from Amityville, New York, United States. They are best known for their eclectic sampling and quirky, surreal lyrics, and their contributions to the evolution of the subgenre. They are the best known of the early acts. The members are Kelvin Mercer (Posdnuos, Mercenary, Plug Wonder Why, Plug One), David Jude Jolicœur (Trugoy the Dove, Dave, Plug Two) and Vincent Mason (Pasemaster Mase, Maseo, Plug Three). The three formed the group in 1987, while still in high school and caught the attention of producer Paul Huston (Prince Paul) with a demo tape of the song “Plug Tunin’”.

Their album, 3 Feet High and Rising (), was a critical smash that saw the group labeled hippies due to the message of peace and love. They quickly became prominent members of the Universal Zulu Nation, along with A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Queen Latifah, Jungle Brothers and others. They were also members of the famed Native Tongues Posse and mentioned the group often in their music (though they have since left the group for various reasons). “Me Myself and I” became a huge hit, further cementing the group’s popularity. However, group The Turtles sued the group for sampling “You Showed Me” without permission on De La Soul’s “Transmitting Live from Mars”. From that point on, sampling required permission from the sources before it was released.

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