It's been 26 years since De La Soul declared themselves deceased with the classic sophomore LP De La Soul is Dead. Not only did the group immediately resurrect themselves upon the project's release in May of 1991; the trio of Posdnuos, Dave and Maseo have proved they have staying power unparalleled. They were just nominated for a Grammy earlier this year, and at this weekend's Meadows Festival, the Long Island collective commanded the crowd like Jedi masters.
De La kept the audience sprightly with trinkets from their acclaimed catalog. "Stakes is High" and "Saturday" were potent back to back, and "Saturday" brought the fest to the dance floor.
After their classic "Me, Myself and I," Pos took time to acknowledge LL Cool J, who had rocked the Meadows crowd just before they did.
"LL, he was out here earlier," Plug One said. "That's one of our heroes."
The trio then got into "B.U.D.D.Y."and "Forever."
"We some rhyming ass niggas," Dave told the spectators. "We love doing this shit. Shit is in our blood. ... We live what hip-hop is about." He then spoke om the art of completion in the culture and the music resonating with the fans.
"We got this one song that super exemplified that connection what I'm talking about. If you don't feel it, go fuck off," Plug Two added.
De La Soul's stentorian "Rock Co.Kane Flow" followed, with the group riling the audience up in a frenzy then stopping the record. As the record paused, all three stood still in poses garnishing a roar. They did this a second time, with Pos laying flat on the stage like he had just been choke slammed by The Undertaker through the announcer's table. This caused the crowd to yell louder.
Sunday was the third and final day of the Meadows Fest with Nas, Ghostface Killah and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers as the high-profile acts. On Friday, JAY-Z was the headliner.