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De La Soul|AOI: Bionix

AOI: Bionix

De La Soul

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Ever since their 1989 debut with 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul have puzzled fans by continually resisting the laid-back grooves and intelligent message tracks of hip-hop's best first album ever. From their sophomore rebuke, De La Soul Is Dead, to the harder-than-thou Mosaic Thump, the trio has often sacrificed happiness for hardcore, even when it's clear they do positivity better than any other rap group. Bionix, the second volume in De La Soul's comeback trilogy, Art Official Intelligence, presents the trio in astronaut gear on the cover, while inside a female-vocal intro proclaims the new De La Soul: "Better, stronger, faster." Listeners a bit doubtful after the rapid disappearance of first installment Mosaic Thump can rest easy; the trio sounds positively refreshed here, finally content to concentrate on its specialties: wrapping groovy, sparkling productions around smart, sympathetic themes with rapping that doesn't scrimp just because they're not gangsta. "Baby Phat" is first, a wickedly wonderful tribute to the beautiful black woman in all of her various shapes and figures. Producer Dave West spins a beautiful sample (from Wings' "Wonderful Christmas Time") for the highlight, a mid-tempo hand-waver named "Simply." Though this is by no means a hardcore album, the trio also spits a few bars, criticizing the easy answers of organized religion on "Held Down" (as well as on the three "Rev. Do Good" interludes scattered during the rest of the LP). De La Soul handed virtually all of the production duties over to the talented West, and it pays off doubly, not only giving Bionix a great sense of album flow, but freeing up the trio to concentrate on its excellent rapping (probably the best since their debut). It hardly seemed possible that De La Soul were capable of such incredible work after being lapped by most of the hip-hop world, but Bionix ranks right up there with 3 Feet High and Rising.
© John Bush /TiVo

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AOI: Bionix

De La Soul

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1
Intro
00:00:30

Laura Nyro, Composer - David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Vincent Mason, Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

2
Bionix Explicit
00:02:43

Frederick Perren, Composer - David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Dave West, Producer - David West, Composer - Keni St. Lewis, Composer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Vincent Mason, Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

3
Baby Phat Explicit
00:03:50

Ronald Miller, Composer - Kurtis Walker, Composer - William Waring, Composer - David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Mark Morales, Composer - Dave West, Producer - David West, Composer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Devin The Dude, FeaturedArtist - Glenn Mosley, AssociatedPerformer - Vincent Mason, Composer - Elizabeth "Yummy" Bingham, FeaturedArtist - Kyle Williams, AssociatedPerformer - Damon Yul Wimbley, Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

4
Simply Explicit
00:04:05

David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Dave West, Producer - David West, Composer - Paul Mccartney, Composer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Vincent Mason, Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

5
Simply Havin' Explicit
00:00:48

David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Larry Mizell, Composer - Ali Shaheed Jones-Muhammad, Composer - Stevie Wonder, Composer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Kamaal Ibn John Fareed, Composer - Bradley Ridgell, Composer - Sigidi Bashir Abdullah, Composer - Vincent Mason, Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

6
Held Down
00:04:54

David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Cee-Lo, FeaturedArtist - Serge Gainsbourg, Composer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Leroy Hodges, AssociatedPerformer - Vincent Mason, Composer - Jean Claude Michel Vannier, Composer - Thomas Bigham, AssociatedPerformer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

7
Rev. Do Good #1
00:01:05

David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Kevin Lewis, Producer - Troy Hightower, Producer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Vincent Mason, Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

8
Watch Out Explicit
00:03:37

David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Dave West, Producer - David West, Composer - De La Soul, MainArtist - Cal Tjader, Composer - Jose "Perico" Hernandez, FeaturedArtist

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

9
Special
00:03:36

David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - De La Soul, MainArtist - Kev Brown, Producer - Vincent Mason, Composer - Elizabeth "Yummy" Bingham, FeaturedArtist

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

10
Rev. Do Good #2
00:01:14

David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Kevin Lewis, Producer - Troy Hightower, Producer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Vincent Mason, Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

11
The Sauce Explicit
00:02:25

David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Dave West, Producer - David West, Composer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Philly Black, FeaturedArtist

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

12
Am I Worth You? Explicit
00:04:01

August Darnell, Composer - David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Dave West, Producer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Glenn Lewis, Composer, FeaturedArtist - Vincent Mason, Composer - Stoney Browder Jr., Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

13
Pawn Star Explicit
00:04:06

David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Vincent Mason, Composer - Shell Council, FeaturedArtist

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

14
What We Do (For Love) Explicit
00:05:04

David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Megahertz, Producer - Dorsey Wesley, Composer - Slick Rick, FeaturedArtist - De La Soul, MainArtist - Vincent Mason, Composer - Ricky M L Walters, Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

15
Rev. Do Good #3 Explicit
00:02:20

David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Kevin Lewis, Producer - Troy Hightower, Producer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Vincent Mason, Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

16
Peer Pressure Explicit
00:05:10

Louis Freese, Composer - David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - De La Soul, MainArtist - B-Real, FeaturedArtist - Jay Dee, Producer - Vincent Mason, Composer - James Dewitt Yancey, Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

17
It's American Explicit
00:01:09

David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - Kevin Lewis, Producer - Troy Hightower, Producer - De La Soul, Producer, MainArtist - Vincent Mason, Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

18
Trying People Explicit
00:04:32

Laura Nyro, Composer - David Jolicoeur, Composer - Kelvin Mercer, Composer - De La Soul, MainArtist - Al Carty, AssociatedPerformer - Vincent Mason, Composer - Def 2 U Inc., Producer - Lucious Mercer, Composer - Neal forrester, Composer

2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited 2023 A.O.I., LLC under exclusive license to Chrysalis Records Limited

Album review

Ever since their 1989 debut with 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul have puzzled fans by continually resisting the laid-back grooves and intelligent message tracks of hip-hop's best first album ever. From their sophomore rebuke, De La Soul Is Dead, to the harder-than-thou Mosaic Thump, the trio has often sacrificed happiness for hardcore, even when it's clear they do positivity better than any other rap group. Bionix, the second volume in De La Soul's comeback trilogy, Art Official Intelligence, presents the trio in astronaut gear on the cover, while inside a female-vocal intro proclaims the new De La Soul: "Better, stronger, faster." Listeners a bit doubtful after the rapid disappearance of first installment Mosaic Thump can rest easy; the trio sounds positively refreshed here, finally content to concentrate on its specialties: wrapping groovy, sparkling productions around smart, sympathetic themes with rapping that doesn't scrimp just because they're not gangsta. "Baby Phat" is first, a wickedly wonderful tribute to the beautiful black woman in all of her various shapes and figures. Producer Dave West spins a beautiful sample (from Wings' "Wonderful Christmas Time") for the highlight, a mid-tempo hand-waver named "Simply." Though this is by no means a hardcore album, the trio also spits a few bars, criticizing the easy answers of organized religion on "Held Down" (as well as on the three "Rev. Do Good" interludes scattered during the rest of the LP). De La Soul handed virtually all of the production duties over to the talented West, and it pays off doubly, not only giving Bionix a great sense of album flow, but freeing up the trio to concentrate on its excellent rapping (probably the best since their debut). It hardly seemed possible that De La Soul were capable of such incredible work after being lapped by most of the hip-hop world, but Bionix ranks right up there with 3 Feet High and Rising.
© John Bush /TiVo

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