Photographer: Aimee Valinski
Much like an adolescent’s quiet acceptance of correction administered by a respected parent, I felt deeply humbled after what was a most triumphant concert at the Forum on Wednesday night.
For over twenty years De La Soul has been on the Hip-Hop scene and they have undoubtedly enjoyed some commercial success in the UK; however, it could not be said that they ever experienced a period of solid consistency. So, given this, I haughtily assumed that whilst I would enjoy the nostalgia, the actual performance would be mediocre and slightly lacklustre. I could not have been more wrong.
De La Soul came on stage accompanied by their band at 9.10pm and absolutely rocked it until 11pm on the dot. They owned every inch of the stage at the Forum and despite less than perfect sound quality, performed the hell out their most successful and loved tracks including “Stakes is High”, “Three”, “Oooh” “All good”, “Baby Phat” — a personal favourite – as well as the majorly successful 2005 collaboration with Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz “ Feel Good Inc”.
The crowd – a rather special mix of ages, cultures and social classes – were engaged and responsive the whole way through; they danced, rapped, clapped, waved and cheered enthusiastically and sincerely at all the appropriate moments. When De La Soul reloaded then performed “Verbal Clap”, a look at the crowd revealed that multitudes had somehow become one creature, alive for Hip-Hop. It was an amazing moment. I anticipated and looked for reasons to be dissatisfied throughout, but found none. Far from being three lethargic rappers, bitter about what the industry has become, De La Soul are still a Hip Hop force to be reckoned with. Look out for a new Album later this year.
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