50 Years of Hip Hop

MIAMI - AUGUST 29: De La Soul arrive at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards at the American Airlines Arena August 29, 2004 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

As we dive into the 50th anniversary of hip hop, we are taking a look at the artists who have made huge impacts on the industry and culture, and today we take a look at De La Soul.

The group from Long Island, New York started up in 1988, and came out of the gate strong.

De La Soul consisted of hip hop legends Kelvin “Psodnous” Mercer, David “Trugoy the Dove” Jolicoeur, and Vincent “Maseo” Mason. Trugoy the Dove sadly died in February of 2023, after battling heart issues for several years. Just days before his death, the group performed on the Grammy Awards, but without him present.

“You were the heart of our group. You brought so much creativity, energy, and passion to our music, and your influence will be felt for years to come,” the group said in an Instagram post after his death. “Your passing is a great loss not only to us, but also to the entire hip-hop community. You were a true artist who used music to inspire and uplift others, and you will be deeply missed by all who knew you.”

The first album from the group, “3 Feet High and Rising,” was a smash success and catapulted them to stardom. They were key members of the Native Tongues Posse, alongside Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest and others.

The band’s second album, “De La Soul is Dead,” is where they cemented their presence as icons of the genre. We profiled that album here.

Here’s a look back at De La Soul over the years.

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