Sunday Music: The Grind Date (De La Soul)

The full De La Soul catalog is out now, but I’m writing this before I can press play, so I’ve basically got The Grind Date on repeat (again). 

Context: The Grind Date came out after the second-round chips on shoulder vibes of (the two) Art Official Intelligence albums (more on those in a future post). I see this record as their post-comeback official journeymen acceptance speech. It’s when they no longer felt any need to prove themselves to others and instead re-upped on re-proving their worth to themselves. 

That’s sort of the feeling I always got from this record at least. It is self-respectfully good.

“Shopping Bags” is a suburban banger, and “Rock Co.Kane Flow” is still one of my favorite MF DOOM features. It’s about where they are in life and flexing on still being really good at being De La Soul.

But it’s especially in the everyday success + not losing “that thing” where I love who they are when they made this album. 

From the intro to the song, “The Grind Date,”

I mean, my dad’s got five kids, man and I mean yo

He hates drivin’ a bus but he loves five kids

You feel me?

Yes. We feel you. 

Dave’s verse – RIP – you can just feel this in your bones. Read this slowly, it’s worth it:

Yo f*** a rhyme artist, I ain’t here for that

I was born with the boom bap, respect the name

My hands on experience was hands on my first contract

Taught me quick how to respect the game

Introduced to the block, got used to the block

But your neighbors be the ones who throw s*** on your lawn

It’s like every single time we pop, they got annoyed

But we got ahead, and we got along

And puttin’ work on the calendars, worse on them calendars

Worth of hump days that broke the camel’s back

The grind’ll make today look gray

And paint a tainted picture of tomorrows in enamel black

Meet the rhyme, street grind, son whatever the beast

I’m a take it at the horns till the pinky toe torn

And show you why we here this long

Cause when it comes to puttin’ in work

Once again it’s on

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