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WEGL's Weekly Picks: March 1-15

Godcaster - Godcaster - Mar 10, 2023

The youthful Brooklyn-born sextet has busted onto the underground scene with their self-titled second LP, and it is a must listen. Blending elements of noise-rock, post-punk, folk, and extended psychedelic jams evoking Oh Sees imagery, there is something beyond captivating about Godcaster that few bands can achieve. Being a group known for their live performances, they really hit their mark if the goal was to make a "live sounding" album. For instrumentalists as skilled and graceful as these, it is most impressive how intimidatingly loud some parts of this record are. The icing on the cake here, however, are front man Judson Kolk's lyrics. Surreal and packed with imagery, he's just beginning to attract the cult-like fandom of indie-rock geniuses that the world can never have too many of. I will be keeping a close eye on these guys in the future, and I recommend you do the same.   

Favorite Tracks: "Vivian Heck" ; "Draw Breath Cry Out" ; "Gut Sink Moan"

- Will Lewis


De La Soul – 3 Feet High And Rising 

On March 3rd, De La Soul’s first six albums finally hit streaming. Their first album, 3 Feet High And Rising, is a landmark album in the rap genre and has been instrumental in many artists’ careers. Over 60 samples were used on this album, which was unheard of in 1989. De La sampled artists like Hall and Oats, Johnny Cash, Schoolhouse Rock, and other outside-the-box artists. This lead to a unique sound that drew people into this record. They also don’t rap like normal emcees. Posdnuos and Trugoy are more like poets than rappers on most of these songs. This again breaks the mold of rap at that time. Finally, De La was the first artists to use the skit in their albums, something that would take over the rap genre in the 90s and early 2000s. De La pioneered so many things that is used in modern rap today. They stood out because of their positive and chill style, believing in “The D.A.I.S.Y. Age” (Da Inner Sound Y’all) But because they were so different, they were labeled as “hip hop hippies” and became kind of a joke. They would shake that stereotype in their second album, De La Soul Is Dead.  

Favorite Tracks: “The Magic Number”, “Eye Know”, “Buddy”, and “Plug Tunin’ (Last Chance To Comprehend) 

De La Soul – De La Soul Is Dead 

After a huge breakout debut, De La Soul was not satisfied with their position in the rap world. Seen as “hip hop hippies”, they wanted to shake that stereotype in their second album, De La Soul Is Dead. This album is the more serious brother of 3 Feet it shows from the start of the album. De La uses more explicit language and mature themes, like the song “Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa” and “My Brother’s a Basehead." It leads to a stronger album than 3 Feet. Some of my personal favorite De La Soul tracks are on this album. The narrative in the skits is stronger too. While 3 Feet’s skits were about a gameshow within the album, the skits in Is Dead are how the outside world sees De La Soul. Its extremely meta, with bullies listening to the new De La album with us. De La’s rap game levels up on this album, with Pos and Dave really shining on all the tracks. I highly recommend this album for anyone wondering what De La is about and how they evolve. 

Favorite Tracks: “A Rollerskating Jam Named Saturday”, “Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)”, “Bitties In The BK Lounge”,  and “Afro Connections at a Hi 5”. 

De La Soul – Buhloone Mindstate 

De La’s third album, Buhloone Mindstate, condensed De La’s style whilst refining it. This is De La at their most chill and commercially viable. This might be my favorite album production wise. De La brings in jazz legends like Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley to help create a great jazz rap album. Once again De La gets better over time. They’re better rappers than they were on Is Dead and have come into their own personality wise. This is the first time that De La didn’t have a true message for their album. Its also their shortest album, as it comes in at just 48 minutes. Even though this album is much shorter than a normal De La joint, every song is great and they trimmed down the skits. They also have great features from Shortie No Mass, SCHA DARA PARR, and Biz Markie. Overall this album was De La’s strongest to this point and a great final collaboration with Prince Paul. 

Favorite Tracks: “Breakadawn”, “I Am I Be”, “Ego Trippin’”, “Eye Patch”, and “Patti Dooke” 

De La Soul reviews written by Logan Hurston.

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