De La Soul is an American hip hop trio formed in 1987 on Long Island, New York.
The band is best known for their eclectic sampling, quirky lyrics, and their contributions to the evolution of the jazz rap and alternative hip hop subgenres.
The members are Kelvin Mercer, David Jude Jolicoeur and Vincent Mason. The three formed the group in high school and caught the attention of producer Prince Paul with a demo tape of the song "Plug Tunin'". With its playful wordplay, innovative sampling, and witty skits, the band's debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, has been called "a hip hop masterpiece."
It is the band's biggest commercial success to date, with their subsequent albums selling progressively less, despite receiving high praise from critics. They were influential in the early stages of rapper/actor Mos Def's career, and are a core part of the Spitkicker collective. They are the second longest standing Native Tongues Posse group, after the Jungle Brothers.
- David Jude Jolicoeur "Dave" (b. September 21, 1968)
- Vincent Mason "Maseo" (b. March 24, 1970)
- Kelvin Mercer "Posdnuos" or "Pos" (b. August 17, 1969)
In 2005, De La Soul collaborated with Gorillaz on the hit single "Feel Good Inc.", which won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Collaboration (the first Grammy win in the group's career) after being nominated for a total of three Grammys.
De La Soul returned as guests on the third Gorillaz studio album, Plastic Beach alongside Super Furry Animals frontman, Gruff Rhys on the 6th song, "Superfast Jellyfish". They were supposed to appear on a track entitled "Sloped Tropics", though this song did not make the final cut. They co-wrote the song "Electric Shock", which features Derby-based Orchestra sinfonia ViVA. This song does not appear on the album either, although certain elements are featured in the Gorilaz' track "Rhinestone Eyes". Gorillaz' frontman Damon Albarn played the song when he filled in for Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1.
They returned for the foruth Gorillaz album, Humanz, on the 5th song, called "Momentz".