One of the best known acts in the first wave of AlternativeHipHop, De La Soul is best known for their eclectic {{sampling}} and quirky lyrics. The group consists of Posdnuos, Dave Jude Jolicoeur (formally Trugoy) and Maseo. They were also heavily associated with producer Prince Paul (also known for his work with Handsome Boy Modeling School and Music/{{Gravediggaz}}).

Upon release of their debut album, ''3 Feet High and Rising'' in 1989, the group was frequently called "hippies" due to the fact that the lyrics often talked about peace and love, the album cover featured daisies, and their clothing wasn't exactly in line with the usual stereotypical GenreMotif/HipHop gear. However, the group specifically stated that they are '''not''' hippies in the lyrics to their single, "Me Myself and I", which they performed on ''The Arsenio Hall Show''...immediately after Arsenio introduced De La Soul as "the hippies of hip hop", indicating that he never listened to their music. Further adding to the disrespect, the credits for the show ran over the performance before the group was finished.

Also, their sampling got them into some hot water - Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan of Music/TheTurtles and [[Music/FrankZappa The Mothers Of Invention]] sued De La Soul over an uncredited sample of the Turtles song "You Showed Me" in De La Soul's interlude "Transmitting Live from Mars" and were later given credit for the sample. Volman and Kaylan later explained that they like samples, as long as they receive credit for the original recording.

Following continuing frustration over being called hippies, De La Soul released a DarkerAndEdgier album, ''De La Soul Is Dead'', featuring an album cover depicting a broken pot of daisies. The album's sketches formed a storyline that was essentially a TakeThat towards GangstaRap, where the group expressed frustration over the fact that they were overlooked because they didn't embody HardcoreHipHop stereotypes by portraying a group of bullies listening to ''De La Soul Is Dead'' and mocking the group because they didn't rap about guns, violence and gang life. This storyline is presented as a "read along storybook", and much like their debut, featured a comic strip in the booklet. In sharp contrast to Hardcore and Gangsta lyrical themes, ''De La Soul Is Dead'' took a conscious approach to inner city life, such as on "Millie Pulled a Pistol on [[SantaClaus Santa]]" (which is about a girl who shoots her father while he is working as a MallSanta, because he sexually molests her and no one believes her) and "My Brother's a Basehead" (which is about Posdnuos' brother, who is a crack addict[[note]]a "basehead" is what they used to call a "crackhead" back when the crack epidemic was a big deal in the 1980s. The "base" part comes from the verb "freebase," which means to smoke crack by putting a crack rock over a heated spoon and inhaling the fumes[[/note]]).

De La Soul continued to experiment with {{Jazz}} fusion on ''Buhloone Mindstate'' and featured a guest spot by Japanese rappers Scha Dara Parr. Chris Rock listed this album as the 10th best hip hop album of all time, out of 25 listed for a ''Rolling Stone'' article. This was the last De La Soul album produced by Prince Paul. Without Paul, they continued to release albums, including ''Stakes Is High'' and ''The Grind Date''. They've also collaborated with Music/{{Gorillaz}} on their singles "Feel Good Inc" and "Superfast Jellyfish", and with the AlternativeRock band Teenage Fanclub, they contributed to the RapRock-based ''Judgment Night'' soundtrack.

Compare and contrast Music/ATribeCalledQuest, Music/DigitalUnderground, Music/ThePharcyde.

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!Discography

* ''3 Feet High and Rising'' (1989)
* ''De La Soul is Dead'' (1991)
* ''Buhloone Mindstate'' (1993)
* ''Stakes Is High'' (1996)
* ''Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump'' (2000)
* ''AOI: Bionix'' (2001)
* ''The Grind Date'' (2004)
* ''The Impossible Mission TV Series -- Part 1'' (2006)
* ''Are You In?: Nike+ Original Run'' (2011)
* ''First Serve'' (2012)
* ''You're Welcome'' (TBA)
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!De La Soul provides examples of the following tropes:

* FiveFiveFive: Averted in "Ring Ring Ring": "You wanna call me? Take my number down. It's 222-2222. I've got an answering machine that will talk to you." The number is usually blanked out in TV and radio broadcasts of the song and its music video, because it's actually used by the Chicago Tribune, among others.
* AlbumTitleDrop: In "The Magic Number" off ''3 Feet High and Rising'', the title is dropped by Music/JohnnyCash, via a sample. And the outro of ''De La Soul Is Dead'' has the bully leader Hemorrhoid dropping the title after throwing the album in the trash.
* AlternativeHipHop
* ArcWords: In the ''De La Soul Is Dead'' album, you'll hear the SlickRick sample "I can't be your loverrrrr" on a few different tracks. It's even part of the riff in "Kicked Out The House".
** "It might blow up, but it won't go pop" in ''Buhloone Mindstate''.
* BookEnds: On ''De La Soul Is Dead'', the story told through the skits begins and ends with the album in the garbage.
* CallBack: In the first skit of ''De La Soul Is Dead'', once the bullies get the tape and start playing it, the first thing heard is the game show ending of ''3 Feet High and Rising''.
** And in "Patti Dooke" off ''Buhloone Mindstate'': "Respect is clear crystal, cuz Millie got a pistol, and she's down with me." (Evidently she survived the whole shooting-Santa ordeal.)
* CarefulWithThatAxe: At the beginning of "Ego Trippin' (Part Two)".
* ContentWarnings: "My Brother's a Basehead" contains a parody of these:
--> This song does not contain explicit lyrics, but what it does contain is an undesired element. This element is known as the basehead, the lowest of lowest of all elements that exist.
** Nonetheless, the lyrics of the song do include two usages of "shit."
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''De La Soul is Dead'' is darker than its predecessor, and more grounded in reality. "Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa" is one of the main songs cited as this.
--> '''Pos:''' This is the stylin' for a title that sounds silly, [[ShooOutTheClowns but nuttin' silly 'bout the triflin' times of Millie]].
* DaysOfTheWeekSong: "A Roller Skating Jam Named 'Saturdays'"
* DomesticAbuse: "Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa" is a story about a girl who's being sexually molested by her father and, when no one believes her about it, she procures a gun and shoots him in the head while her dad is working as a mall Santa.
** The Atmosphere song "Millie Fell Off The Fire Escape" is a sequel to this, which has Millie running from the mall, trying to hide out on the roof of an old factory, realizing the severity of the situation she put herself in, and falling to her death when the cops corner her.
* ElNinoIsSpanishForTheNino: Inverted. According to their hit song "Me, Myself and I", "De La Soul is from the soul".
* EvilLaugh: During their appearance on [[Music/{{Gorillaz}} Feel Good Inc.]]
* FunWithAcronyms: What's with the daisies, you ask? D.A.I.S.Y. stands for "DA Inner Sound Y'all".
* GangOfBullies: The skits on ''De La Soul Is Dead'' feature a trio of bullies named Hemorrhoid (the leader), Dick Snot and Butt Crust. The intro has them beating up a kid and stealing the ''De La Soul Is Dead'' tape he found in the garbage, and the rest of the skits have the bullies expressing their disapproval of the album (Butt Crust seems to enjoy it, but the others [[WithFriendsLikeThese beat him up]] every time he mentions this).
* TheGoldenAgeOfHipHop
* GratuitousFrench: "Transmitting Live From Mars" samples an old French lesson record. In fact, that's the ''only'' dialogue in the track.
* GratuitousPanning: Pos's first lines in "En Focus".
* IntercourseWithYou: "Jenifa Taught Me", "Eye Know"
* LongTitle: "This Is A Recording 4 Living In A Fulltime Era (L.I.F.E.)" and "Afro Connections at a Hi 5 (In the Eyes of the Hoodlum)"
* MoodWhiplash: The "Derwin's Revenge" part of "Jenifa Taught Me (Derwin's Revenge)" -- shortly after the line "...asked was I a virgin / like some kid named Derwin?", the sex-romp smooth groove is interrupted by "Little Derwin got something to show us that Jenny could never do!" and a round of "Chopsticks" on a toy piano. After that, it returns to the rap already in progress.
* NeverSpeakIllOfTheDead: "When someone dies thou shalt no longer be under obligation to cry saying 'he'll be missed' knowing good and well that he was an asshole."
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: "Patti Dooke"
* NoIndoorVoice: Inverted on "Can U Keep A Secret"... the entire rap is whispered.
* OneWomanSong: "Jenifa Taught Me", "Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa"
* OutdatedOutfit: "Take It Off" ...as in "take that mock neck off", "take that Gucci off", etc. (Ending in "Take those acid-washed jeans, bell bottoms, designed by [[YourMom your mama]], off, please?")
* ThePigPen: Addressed by the group in "A Little Bit Of Soap".
* RuleOfThree: It's "The Magic Number", after all.
* ShoutOut: Two of the characters on "Pease Porridge" sound like [[TheMuppets Kermit The Frog]] and Peter Lorre.
* SongStyleShift: "Bitties In The BK Lounge" switches beats and tempos twice mid-track, resulting in a different style for each member of the group to lead on.
* StillbornFranchise: The ''Art Official Intelligence'' series of albums was meant to be a trilogy of sorts; it started with ''Mosaic Thump'' in 2000 and continued with ''Bionix'' in 2001; the third and final installment, ''Dedicated To The DJ'', never materialized.
* TakeThat: Being compared to Arsenio Hall is a particularly offensive insult on ''De La Soul Is Dead''. "Pass the Plugs" notes that "Arsenio dissed us but the crowd kept clapping".
** From the same album, "Afro Connections at a Hi 5 (In the Eyes of the Hoodlum)" is an entire song lambasting "studio [[GangstaRap gangstas]]" (''and'' it ends with an Arsenio-style "Let's get busy!") and "Kicked Out The House" mocks house-rap.
* TakeThatMe: A lot of tracks on ''De La Soul Is Dead'' features characters responding negatively to their music, calling them "wack", "punks" and incomprehensible. (It's best if you don't try to make a DrinkingGame where you take a shot every time one of the bullies asks "What are they ''saying''?!".)
** The skits on ''3 Feet High and Rising'' depict De La Soul as the hapless contestants on a bizarre game show, unable to answer questions like "How many times did the [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Batmobile]] catch a flat?".
** In "Bitties In The BK Lounge", Dave jokes that he's actually Tracy Chapman.
* TalkingAnimal: Three of them (Mr. Squirrel, Mr. Fish and Mr. Monkey) in "Tread Water".
* ThisIsASong: "This Is A Recording 4 Living In A Fulltime Era (L.I.F.E.)"