The hip hop record I’ve played the most is probably Art Official Intelligence (Mosaic Thump) by De La Soul. In the year of it’s release (2000) this record levelled every other to rubble for repeatability, for five star headline guest list and for top draw party music. As is almost exclusive to De La Soul the skits were actually kind of funny too.
Guests on the album featured, Redman, Busta, Xzibitz, The Beastie Boys and Pharaoh Monch to name just a fraction but the show is stolen by the high priestess Chaka Khan.
My House party’s shook to this tune. My Buddies Cars rolled to it. Released in August of that year it came on a Lads holiday with us, saw us through to Christmas and was probably the most played album of 2001 and 2002 when it came to that group of friends getting together.
Chaka rips it up on the choruses of this song and fills the groove between bars with her silky vocal acrobatics. Plug’s 1,2 & 3 shine too. Nimble and quick witted they wind their way around her voice rapping about their longevity and fakers trying to reattach themselves now the 3 are hot again. It’s Khan’s song. They give her the space to own it.
This is a classic of the genre of the era and of the back catalogues of all involved. For my money it’s right up there with Mary J’s Family Affair and Wu Tang’s Gravel Pit.