De La Soul has been at the forefront of Hip-Hop's more left-leaning creatives for more than 30 years, and the trio of Pos, Dave and Maseo have never shown signs of slippage. Over the course of their legendary career, De La has always delivered high-quality music, even if the mainstream wasn't always paying attention.
Their first four albums cemented their legacy, but it's their latter-day work from the 2000s that proved their consistency. With A Tribe Called Quest's status as a group in limbo, De La Soul became the torchbearers for Native Tongues spirit well into the blinged-out early '00s and beyond. So we decided to salute some of our favorite tracks from the Amityville boys, post-2000.
Whoodeeni feat. 2 Chainz
It have seemed like an unlikely pairing, but 2 Chainz sounds like he's having a blast teaming up with De La on this underrated cut from 2016s ...and The Anonymous Nobody. One of the quirkiest tracks on their most recent album, it embodies that classic De La irreverence. Right down to the trippy video.
Shopping Bags (She Got From You)
De La gets some jabs in at golddiggers and sugar daddies on this track. Madlib's island-inflected beat is a standout, with Daniel Wallace on the woozy hook.
Pain feat. Snoop Dogg
Legends collide on this perfect single from 2016. Snoop's laid-back flow fits in with so many disparate styles, and he slinks all over this smoothed-out track from De La.
I.C. Y'all feat. Busta Rhymes
You couldn't go wrong with a Rockwilder beat and a frenetic Busta Rhymes appearance. Bussa Buss goes bananas over the digi-funk sonics, doing what he's done best for 30 years. And Pos and Dave match the energy on one of the best tracks from ...Mosiac Thump.
Much More feat. Yummy Bingham
That Kanye-esque sample of "Love Ballad" by L.T.D. is the backdrop for some of Dave and Pos's best rhymes, but Yummy Bingham arguably steals the show here, her distinctive vocals pairing perfectly with the classic soul soundscape.
Held Down feat. Cee-Lo Green
A Cee-Lo appearance on the hook elevates one of De La Soul's most pensive tracks. Pos and Dave get heavy on the War On Terror, racism and hate on this lovely, laid-back winner. De La's most underrated album, and their last release for Tommy Boy.
Rock Co. Kane Flow feat. MF DOOM
What is there left to say about this bonafide classic?The beat from Jake One, who was a refugee from G-Unit's inner circle when he scored this standout track on De La's The Grind Date. And of course, there's a landmark verse from the late, great MF DOOM.
The Memory Of... feat. Estelle, Pete Rock
The nostalgia of lovers past. The wisdom that comes with age. It's all here on this wistfully reminiscent ballad that features Estelle and Pete Rock. A perfect distillation of everything that makes the mature De La Soul so dope.
He Comes feat. Ghostface
A lyrical tour-de-force that not only re-emphasizes just how sick Pos and Dave are on the microphone, it features a scene-stealing appearance from Ghostface. One of the best tracks on the group's best post-Y2K album.
Baby Phat feat. Devin The Dude, Yummy Bingham
What's not to like here? There's a (mostly) body positive message and some really dope early 2000s fashion in the video. Not to mention the vocal pairing of Yummy Bingham and Devin the Dude on the hook works so well.
All Good feat. Chaka Khan
Is it their best single of the 2000s? Debatable -- but what isn't? This is just a great song. The legendary Chaka Khan gives a stellar performance, showcasing that iconic voice over one of De La's best beats. It encapsulates so many things about the era, and for once, that's a compliment.