An interview for The Vine. Excerpt below.
It seems damn near everyone who ever played in the rock ‘n’ roll game is reforming and re-touring the world in pursuit of their youthful achievements. Along with the not-insignificant hope that their original fans are willing to part with their money in order to experience nostalgia. Encouraged by a trend named ‘Don’t Look Back’ that began with the British label and festival coordinators All Tomorrow’s Parties, many of these acts opt to play their best-known albums in their entirety. Though they’re far removed from the rock game and have a point of distinction in that they’ve never broken up, New York hip-hop trio De La Soul – who’ve retained the same line-up of Posdnous, Dave (a.k.a. Trugoy) and Maseo since forming in 1987 – hopped on that bandwagon two years ago, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album, 1989’s 3 Feet High and Rising.
De La Soul’s role as part of the American hip-hop canon can not be understated. They achieved worldwide fame with their debut release, and though they arguably never managed to scale those same heights with ensuing material, they’ve nonetheless managed to clock up over a dozen releases, including studio albums, mixtapes, and a 2009 project for Nike named Are You In?, which consisted of a single, 44-minute long track designed to be listened to while on the run. They’ve also been frequent collaborators with Gorillaz (the trio won a Grammy for their guest appearance in ‘Feel Good Inc.’, an international megahit characterised by De La’s distinctive laughter), and they were in Australia only recently supporting that band in December 2010.
Later this month, De La Soul will visit Australia to celebrate their second album, De La Soul Is Dead. TheVine connected with MC Kelvin Mercer, better known as Posdnous (pronounced ‘pasta-noose’; ‘sound sop’ backwards, FYI), to discuss the band’s history, health, Australian hip-hop and his own personal Wikipedia citation.
Hey, Pos. Where are you right now?
I’m in my house, in my computer room. I’m just sitting here, talking with you.
In New York?
No, I’m actually Atlanta. We’re all originally from New York but I live in Atlanta, Georgia now.
Should I call you Kelvin, or Pos? Which are you more comfortable with?
Pos is fine.
We’re talking because you’re playing De La Soul Is Dead across Australia next month. How are you feeling about that prospect?
It’s just another part of us being happy to still be here. Not too long ago, we celebrated the anniversary of 3 Feet High and Rising, and so now we’ve realised that, “Wow, we have all these other albums that it’s gonna flow on and be an anniversary from now to be up on the second album”. It’s a testament to us being young kids; 17, 18 years old that we can now stand here [in our] early 40s and know that music touch peoples’ lives, and we can still perform it. It’s an amazing feeling.