De La Soul have released a handful of mixtapes in the time since their 2004 LP, The Grind Date, but not an actual album. That will soon change, however, as the seminal hip-hop trio has launched a Kickstarter to fund their next full-length effort, dubbed And the Anonymous Nobody.
Even before it’s been funded, De La have lined up an impressive list of guest appearances for the new album. Past collaborator Damon Albarn will join in, as will David Byrne (“Snoopies”), 2 Chainz (“Whodini”), and Little Dragon (“Drawn”). More guests will be revealed as the Kickstarter continues.
The record will see the group playing on their troubled history with sampling. (In one of the earliest sampling cases ever, they were sued by the Turtles in 1991 over a sample used on 3 Feet High and Rising. Last year, they released their entire catalog for free to circumvent sample clearance issues that have made it difficult for their music to appear on digital services.) For the new record, De La Soul and the Rhythm Roots All-Stars, some “16, 17” musicians total, recorded about 200 hours worth of jam session tape. The beats for the final product will be made by sampling the improvised music.
“One way to look at this is that we’re sampling ourselves,” De La Soul’s Dave Jude Jolicoeur, aka Turgoy, said in a statement. Kelvin “Pos” Mercer added, “It’s not like we had a pre-formed idea of what we wanted to sample and then told some band to play it for us. We just got into the studio with the All-Stars and let the music flow where it felt like flowing. And it was amazing. We didn’t start planning what we’d sample until much later.”
The Kickstarter is seeking $110,000 in funding, and as of this writing has raised $30,693 from 355 backers. Some of the perks include one of Dave’s old-school boom boxes; a functioning, autographed MPC from Pos’ collection; a VIP laminate valid for 10 shows “whenever/wherever”; thumb drives shaped like the band members’ heads; Dave’s Platinum Record plaque for 3 Feet High and Rising; shopping trips (toys with Dave, sneakers with Pos, or records with Maseo); and a chance to feature in a skit for the album. Pledge here.