Grammy Award winning group De La Soul’s latest album “And The Anonymous Nobody” debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard hip-hop chart. The group’s first album in 12 years is crowd funded and became the second most funded Kickstarter project in history, with over $600,000 pledged.
And The Anonymous Nobody features contributions from Damon Albarn, David Byrne, Little Dragon, Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz, Usher, Estelle, Jill Scott, Pete Rock, Roc Marciano and more.
Breaking new ground and crossing genres, the album has achieved critical acclaim. It was released on August 26th and has also landed at No. 2 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart and No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart.
Their debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising (1989), was a critical smash that saw the group labeled hippies due to the message of peace and love. “Me, Myself and I” became a huge hit, further cementing the group’s popularity.
De La Soul’s second album, De La Soul Is Dead (1991) was a much darker album. It featured skits that criticized the direction that hip hop was heading in at the time. 1993’s Buhloone Mindstate and 1996’s Stakes Is High saw the group evolve a new sound and cement their position as mainstays of the alternative hip hop movement.
Four years later, De La Soul announced that they would release a triple album series entitled “Art Official Intelligence” (or AOI). All three albums were intended to be released within a year, beginning with the release of Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump. This was followed by AOI: Bionix in late 2001. After this, however, the public saw no release of the third and final album in the AOI series. For the next two years, the only De La Soul releases were singles or remix compilations.
In 2004, De La Soul released a new full album: The Grind Date on Sanctuary Records. Although it was not the new AOI album their fans had been anticipating, it was released to some critical acclaim and was well received by most fans. The album also receives recognition for being the seventh studio album from the group.
In 2005, they were featured on the Gorillaz single, “Feel Good Inc.” and on the LA Symphony single “Universal”. “Feel Good Inc” also won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Collaboration.
On Valentine’s Day 2014, De La Soul became the first group ever to give away their entire catalogue to fans online for 25 hours. Frustrated by sample clearance issues and a lack of support from their previous label, their controversial move was celebrated by fans and won the group a Webby Award for innovation.