Review: De La Soul – Montreal Jazz Festival

So the drinking age in Quebec is 18. Add to that the fact that De La played at an all ages joint that is notorious for not carding. The result? I was surrounded by a bunch of drunk 17 year olds and I felt old as hell.

Having that said, the teens in that building could tell a certain 17 year old what real hip-hop is.

Starting off for De La was Montreal DJ Ghislain Poirier. Other than a few remixes he did, I wasn’t really up on his original music. To be honest, his set sounded real repetitive and bass heavy, and for a while I was going to give up and go to the bar. However, the party livened up, first when two MCs showed up, then when his dancers entered the stage and tried to one up each other in a booty shake contest.

Nothing gets a crowd hype like booty!

De La Soul

Let’s be honest, most hip-hop shows are wack. They show up late, play a 20 minute set, and fill the stage with every cousin and weed carrier known to man. But not De La. They ROCK the show.

De La Soul – Stakes Is High from Couch Sessions on Vimeo.

It’s hard to believe that De La has been in the game for 20 years, and even though these cats are “old” by hip-hop standards, they had more energy and fire than people half their age. Their longevity is rightly deserved, and they put every bit of energy they had into their performance, which lasted so long that they ran out of songs. And the crowd was one of the livest that I ever seen. Seriously, these dudes have been in business longer than most of these kids have lived, but there was such an appreciation for REAL HIP-HOP in the building that I almost shed a tear.

De La’s set skewed heavily toward their sorely unappreciated album The Grind Date which is one of the best hip-hop albums of 2004. Of course they did the hits, “Me Myself and I,” “Saturday,” and “Stakes is High”, but their hustle for an album that’s almost 4 years old shows their dedication to the game and their resistance to becoming just another washed up hip-hop hit parade.