Review: A Reckoning — De La Soul @ The Forum

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.


Han­nah Francis

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