De La Soul – And The Anonymous Nobody

Album Review by Katie Hawthorne | 29 Jul 2016
Album title: And The Anonymous Nobody
Artist: De La Soul
Label: AOI Records
Release date: 26 Aug

'Freedom + Collaboration = Success.' That’s what De La Soul’s Kickstarter page advertised, and they bring it in spades on And The Anonymous Nobody. Where to start? The title is, possibly, a shout to all the fans who donated some $600,874 to fund the process... but possibly also a tongue-in-cheek nod to the record's eclectic mix of guest spots. You can tick off David Byrne, Justin Hawkins, Estelle, Pete Rock, 2 Chainz, Little Dragon, Damon Albarn, Snoop Dogg and, wait, Usher?

Jill Scott opens the record with cinematic, Runescape-y spoken word action, and then each "nobody" brings their own deal; the David Byrne track is wonky, Talking Heads pop sliced with some classic De La verses. Snoop keeps it characteristically chill. Estelle's vocals are beyond creamy. Usher seduces the whole damn universe, and Hawkins orchestrates a full blown rock opera with a very 2k16 relevant chorus: "Fuck everyone, fuck everything." 

Pos, Dave and Maseo take centre stage on only five of the eighteen (!) tracks, but CBGBS and Trainwreck will stand up tall against their well-loved discography. What's more, they've flipped sampling on its head: The record's building blocks have been dug – entirely – from 200 hours of jam sessions recorded with a host of LA musicians. Exhausting, ridiculous and full of life, De La Soul still do it like no-one else. Success!