The Grind Date
label: Sanctuary

production: J. Dilla, Dave West, Madlib, 9th Wonder, Jake One.

guests: Ghostface, MF Doom, Common, others.
year of release: 2004
The Future
Verbal Clap
Much More feat. Yummy
Shopping Bags (She Got From You)
The Grind Date
It's Like That feat. Carl Thomas
He Comes feat. Ghostface
Days Of Our Lives feat. Common
Come On Down feat. Flava Flav
No feat. Butta Verses
Rock Co.Kane Flow feat. MF Doom
  Rock Co.Kane Flow feat. MF Doom
Third times a charm, right? If that's the truth then it must be applicable to comeback albums too. De La Soul has finally got the formula right on their third album that was supposed to return the legendary trio to the lineage of excellent albums they had made. Posdnous breaks down exactly why this album works with the line "some feel free in saying that we don't hunger for beats/ not that we're not hungry, just picky in what we eat." De La must have spent a long time letting these beats marinade because you'll be hard pressed to find a beat that doesn't hit hard on this album.
With so much talk about the production work on The Game's debut album one would think it was head and shoulders above anything that's been released recently. But that's simply not the case. "The Grind Date" is full of great beats provided by classic producers J. Dilla, Dave West, Madlib and some new true schoolers 9th Wonder along with up and coming northwest native Jake One. Bringing rich soulful samples on nearly every beat the listener is given a plateful of nostalgia with a glass of progressiveness to wash the sound down.
Two of the best songs to illustrate the progressive styling of De La and their producers are the songs "Church" and the underground favorite "Rock Co.Kane Flow." On the latter, Jake One's layered production combined with a severe chopping of the sample result in a erky-jerky rhythm throughout the track that is the perfect catalyst for De La and MF Doom to create one of the best tracks of last year. The track "Church" is a great example of meaningful lyrics being done without being too pretentious or whiney on a song. Soulful samples abound on this boom-bap 9th Wonder banger. Proving that it's not just the new breed of emotional emcees that can make socially conscious music because De La Soul has not only been doing it for years but doing it better.
Besides those outstanding songs there are others that give this album a truly special feel. The opening song, "The Future," is a nice introduction for De La to prove not only do they still exist but that they're going to stick around. The title track ["The Grind Date"] is very strong showing despite the fact that it doesn't have any chorus. The beat for "He Comes" is highly suitable for De La and Ghostface to collab on and the end result is well worth the listen. Another collaboration with Common called "Days Of Our Lives" has each emcee dropping great lyrics over a severely chopped Jake One joint.
The rest of the songs are all good showings but not as strong as the previously mentioned. Hearing an album like this is a reaffirmation that Hip-Hop won't go off into a stratosphere denying the road that was paved by the early pioneers. "The Grind Date" is a worthy member in De La's prestigious catalogue of Hip-Hop albums. The future and past have combined to remind each Hip-Hop head that nothing beats that old traditional boom-bap.
review: point one
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