De La Soul: and the Anonymous Nobody… review

Who are the Anonymous Nobody? Although legendary hip hop trio De La Soul have invited artists such as Snoop Dogg and Damon Albarn to feature on their new album and the Anonymous Nobody…, its most important contributor gets all due credit on the album title itself.

Entirely funded on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, the first $110,000 was donated by the ‘Anonymous Nobody’ – the campaign’s pledgers – in the first nine hours of the project going live. An impressive half a million dollars was pledged in total, allowing the album to be made without any interference from a record label. “It was all about creating the right vibe, being fully able to express themselves”, says hip hop musician and friend Davey Chigwidden in a documentary on the making of the album, available to watch on the band’s website.

As original pioneers of hip hop, De La Soul hardly need an introduction, but opening track Genesis is a worthy one, with a passionate mission statement: “When do you think it’s time to love something the most, child? When it’s reached the lowest and you don’t believe in it anymore. When nobody cares”. It’s dubbed over a beautiful string arrangement, creating a theatrical overture that leads into the opening horns of Royalty Capes – a song fit for a walk-on to a boxing ring. It sounds like a trio in charge – these guys are veterans in the genre and their conviction is stronger than ever. Snoop Dogg features on the next track, Pain, with a groove that’s been all over the airwaves since its release two weeks ago. It’s old school; it’s a format that works, with the unmistakeable sound of Snoop adding legendary hip hop kudos to this instantly stand-out track.

Noughties r’n’b singer Estelle adds her raspy and understated vocals to Memory Of… (Us), an all-chiller track with a gorgeous intimacy. It’s not all smooth hip hop tones however, electric guitars begin a heavier sound on CBGBS, (with classicly De La tongue-in-cheek lyrics: “Cash… cash… You’re a peanut with a cashew”), and the volume’s turned up even higher on Lord Intended, with guitar riffs from The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins big enough to fill a stadium.

Talking Heads frontman David Byrne features on Snoopies, adding his genius spin and showing the versatility of what this band can – and are open to – achieving on their records. The featured artists on this album, of which there are many, keep their own individuality with each track, showing the collaborative style in which De La are passionate about – a sense of togetherness that feels even more purposeful on a crowdfunded album.

Perhaps it’s the length of the album that makes the last few songs begin to sound quite tired (although final track Exodus brings it all back home with its pared-down melancholic mantras). Its real clincher is the fact that it’s been entirely funded by fans willing to support something they believe in – donating $500,000 to make it happen – particularly pertinent at a time where you can stream music for free. But, of course, the band refuse to take the credit, shrugging off any god-like status with the final lyric of the album: “Saviours? Heroes? Nah. Just common contributors, hoping that what we create inspires you to selflessly challenge and contribute.”

Debut album 3 Feet High and Rising (1989) gained cult-like status for its innovative gameshow spoof format, but ...and the Anonymous Nobody shows these guys are still creating great hip hop music with utter conviction and humility.

It sounds like a band totally comfortable with the creative freedom a crowdfunded album has given them. There is such confidence, such swagger, that permeates throughout: These guys rule the hip hop roost and they’re showing no signs of that changing any time soon.

“She’s the colour of a magazine”

– something I wrote about Suede, and glam rock, to help aid and justify a delicate day after the night before. Also, I’ve been meaning to write something on here for the past few days as I realise some of my friends are now looking at this! Hey! How you doing!

I am so surprised I am even able to write this right now. It is half past 4 and all I’ve done since returning home this afternoon is sit very still, occasionally scribbling something down in my notebook, such as ‘I am going to have a cup of tea and then I will read Othello.’ Turns out Othello is pretty long and written in a form of jibberish. Writing down these little affirmations in the hope that I will be inspired to start getting on the productivity thing- whereas in fact I feel much better about myself today lying on my bed, half asleep, half-chewing my gum from last night, coming in and out of naps.

The other day at the gym I was absolutely sweating and beaming out all the endorphins imaginable, and I had a really clear thought where I went, ‘Suede!’ I’ve never written anything about Suede, (except tiny pleas/love letters and explicit drawings of Brett Anderson) so I thought it was good if I could explore them through my writing in order to discover the undiscoverable and unexplainable magic of the whole thing, man. (I am still feeling pretty baked.)

Aside: (I was listening to Suede earlier to rekindle the old obsession, but as I write this I am listening to none other than 3 Feet High and Rising, the best album ever recorded. This had to be mentioned.)

So, let’s begin with Exhibit A.

tumblr_mvuz63pPcN1qe8t50o1_500

tumblr_mwduvtIFUR1s7fkxpo1_500

tumblr_mwduvtIFUR1s7fkxpo2_400

tumblr_n5sncdJVYN1s7fkxpo1_1280

Beautiful, androgynous Brett. I saw Suede last winter in Nottingham with my dad and he still has that compelling, captivating stage presence that just makes you hooked on his movements and the lyrics he’s singing, (Brett Anderson, not my dad.)

I searched his Wikipedia page in order to unravel the mystery a little for the sake of the blawg, and the anonymous and undderated writers of Wikipedia summed him up, perfectly: “[He] combines Morrissey’s homoerotic posturing with David Bowie’s glam theatrics”

I love the band because when listening to them, feeling a bit regretful and lousy, they manage to translate every bad decision I’ve made into something beautiful and otherwordly,  + *spoiler alert*AND THAT IS THE BEST THING WITH GLAM ROCK!!!*

Bowie, Bolan – it’s all about glitter, glitter in excess, excess, theatricality, making mistakes but turning those bad feelings into something else. It’s about saying, I’m gonna put on a show for you guys because life can be humdrum and monochrome at the best of times so we may as well make a big deal of it. Then, all of a sudden: pastel colours look simply washed out- what you thought were neutrals ‘beiges, creams, whites’ are replaced with the real essentials: ‘leopard print, sparkly silver, red, shiny black’ – and bam! You are in a good place, amongst friends.

Digressing (as per), but for me, the way DB wrote Starman ‘which had shaken everyone with its somewhere-over-the-rainbow chorus…’ – as Morrissey puts it in his Autobioraphy as well as ‘he is a Wildean visionary about to remould England’ – which always makes me smile as it’s lovely to see how musical influences all link together. (really digressing now)

I suppose Morrissey is not totally regarded as a glam-rock icon, but he was intrigued with the ambigious sexuality of the movement with Bowie, T.rex and particualrly the New York Dolls for instance. He also adored the gender-less nature of Patti Smith, and writes of her chef d’oeuvre, Horses, ‘[it] told me that, however heavy-hearted and impossible you might feel about yourself, you can still bestow love through recorded song.’…The fact that you don’t look like a pop star in waiting should not dishearten you because your oddness could be the deciding wind of change for others.’

The first Suede album I came across was ‘Coming Up- my dad handed me the CD and said, “listen to Track 9”, and I did- for a very long time over & over and it has actually inspired a lot of my little writing pieces over the last few years.

“Oh, we are young and not tired of it, we are young and easily led , oh – with all the kids getting out of their heads.”

I am growing sleepier (you don’t even know how long its taken me to write this post – today has been very delayed and mellow) – so I will leave you with a few more songs to hear, if you can handle the barrage on all of the senses.

“Shaved heads, raveheads, on the pill, got too much time to kill.”

“What does it take to turn you on now he has gone?”

“Sunshine will blow your mind, and the wind blow your brain.”

So good, so good.

Oh, so good.

❤~Sony walkmans keep us walking, De la Soul can help you breathe~❤

de-la-soul

I am really not supposed to be doing this, but I am actually sitting with my laptop on a table (as opposed to it’s usual position amidst my duvet and biscuit crumbs) drinking a cup of coffee feeling pretty *professional* so I am more than willing to type.

I had an exam today (don’t worry I’m not going to moan, I am n-o-t. But anyway it went pretty shitty- I actually wrote ‘la television sera plus populaire quand ils diffusent plus documentaires, parce que les gens âgés aiment les documentaires’~ which literally means- “Television will be more popular when they (?????) broadcast more documentaries because old people like documentaries.” I’m sort of feverish, and I couldn’t breathe and started to panic like, “Hey! THIS is why our mums and teachers don’t tell us to spend study leave reading the Princess Diaries!” Today really was a revelation, if anything.

Anyhow, I went tantric shopping- which involves me liking something, standing in the queue until I am next in line and then running back to where I found it and walking out of the shop (as I can’t really afford to be spending £30 on a dress right now. It’s the tease I like. I’m such a tease to myself.)

Feeling lousy and like I’d kind of lost my otherwise constantly present *sparkle*, I reached into the hellhole of my bag and found, this!!!

DELa3

dlsback

Fucking 3 FEET HIGH AND RISING!!! BY HIP HOP TRIO DE LA SOUL!!!

If you don’t already own this, ever heard it, etc- SLAM DOWN YOUR LAPTOP TOP, smash up YOUR iPad and instantly get down to your local record store (or Amazon if you don’t have any clean pants.)

(aside) Do you ever play some really great music when you’re walking and everyone walking around you seems like they’re walking in time?

This album is the best walking music ever.

So many samples of everything you’ve ever heard on so much pop and hip hop records. You’re bound to already know most of the sounds before you’ve heard it. Ugh, it’s just so spectacular.

And also, when I walking through the shopping centre, “TAKE IT OFF!”:

“Take those acid-washed jeans, bell-bottomed, designed by your mama…
Off? Please? Please..”

Walking past numerous people in suits and looking positively grey against the sky, it’s really nice to walk into time to people saying “Take those fat laces off”

❤❤❤❤❤

This album sounds like it was SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO fun to make, particularly, ‘De la Orgee’- cause you know. I listened to interview with the boys from the band on Huey Morgan’s 6Music show- and they were just like ‘Yeah it was totally fun!’

Check this out for good clothes etc: Me Myself & I

RSCErDB

It’s so nice to listen to something that isn’t so emotionally draining, stuff you can dance t0- that promotes having fun without doing hard drugs or fucking bitches or whatever, and they hardly ever swear, which is kinda great- cause it’s not always so necessary.

The lyrics are so great, with stuff  from ‘Can U keep a secret’:

Paul has dandruff
Posdnuos has a lot of dandruff
Mase has big fat dandruff
Trugoy has dandruff
Everybody in the world, you have dandruff

I mean: “Everybody in the world you have dandruff” is the biggest fuck you to everyone who kills your ~vibes~, brothers.

Here is a De la Soul cake
Here is a De la Soul cake

Finally, ‘Do as De La does’ which is in fact great lifestyle advice:

With the best lyrics ever, including three shouty points and concluding statemets for this post. All is shared, believed and felt wholeheartedly by myself, too.

  • Hey De La Soul, you fucking lasagne heads, that’s better than my mama’s lasagne! Hey! Hey, come on! That was freakin’ A, man! I really wanna take it back home with me, you know!
  • I really get into your fuckin’ music! It’s so excellent! Ah, you big sconzilli heads!
  • De La Soul’s so fuckin’ great!

Jeah jeah!

Oh, and oh my fucking god are you lucky or what, but you can listen to the whole thing here!

The title is optional, but I’m going to take the option

Hello all! I haven’t written in an age, but I’m feeling fresh and zen and kind of like a new person (woah, this REALLY MUST BE A MOOD SWING) so i thought I’d take advantage of this and try and write a post and re-greet my 5 followers!

I’d love to say that I’ve instantly become infatuated with this beautiful, wordy, blogging site, but being a 16 year old with a short attention span who has, since, writing this post been distracted by everything EVERYTHING including the grapes next to me, (grapes are so firm and juicy i love grapes) my dog (isnt he so fluffy) and the telly (did you know the sound of music was the best selling album of the 1960s?? Boss).

Anyway. I’ve been off school for nearly a month (going giddy at the thought of this) and I’ve been having the most wonderful time, doing little revision (I am motivated I am I am….okay yeah i’m not) and kind of just drinking a lot- but having fun, and that is the main thing. In fact, since the Jubilee shenanigans I haven’t really been out or done much- but maybe that’s because my mum has JUST got over her hangover (4 days people) and I kind of had a reality check.

Clothes, lets talk about clothes.

I’ve been reading a lot of magazines of recent (IT KIND OF COUNTS AS REVISING, I WANT TO BE A WRITER- HELLO!??!?!) and sometimes I truly believe that their is little passion, especially in the weeklies. Sex position of the week, Beauty under £5, Best Celebrity Tweets!

Good fun, but do I want to clog my mind with pictures of Tulisa’s cellulite? I just want to read something that will make me feel good about myself- even features in monthlies sometimes make me a bit depressed, such as ‘Is the Internet making us loners?’, ‘Are we living virtual lives?’

Its like c’mon now, show me some Valentino creations so I can sit down with a brew and get lost in this fantasy! I don’t GIVE A SHIT IF PATRICK KIELTY IS GOING OUT WITH CAT DEELEY

(i said I was in a good mood didnt i)

What have I been wearing?

What have I been wanting to wear, (I have mainly been wearing stolen clothes from my friends or just towels. A big towel is nice and so versatile)

With all the Royal stuff, pastel and pleats are in probably, see I dont even know, I’m just a recluse- but this makes me want to be all grunge even more it feels British to not want to wash for a week

This is the dream outfit for summer, not too short, not too LA!!!!!!!!!!!! A bit too chavvy, but definetely how I’m feeling

Image

I feel like I’ve outstayed my welcome. Please like this, because I genuinely feel like crying with ecstasy when i realise people read this. I’ll give your blog and browse too, we can all make each other’s day.

Remember to keep reading and walking about, watching people, learning. We’re learning every day

GBx