Exclusive: After performing hits from eight championed albums, Maseo tells DX that De La Soul intends to make the coming years focused upon their latest creations.
On Friday evening, HipHopDX spoke to De La Soul member and deejay Maseo. With Brooklyn, New York playing host to this week's Salute The DJ event on March 30, the iconic mixer spoke about the state of the deejay in a feature coming this week on DX. However, Maseo also elaborated a bit on the Long Island, New York trio's two forthcoming albums - one untitled work, and one continuation in the acclaimed Art Official Intelligence (a/k/a AOI) series.
Having toured with The Gorillaz on the UK band's Plastic Beach Tour throughout much of 2010, Maseo revealed that De La Soul has learned a lot from their recent experiences with Damon Albarn's ability to master the ceremonies. "This most recent tour with the Gorillaz was very inspiring for us to put out new music," began Mase. "Damon Albarn, to come from what he's coming from and to do what he's doing, this dude don't ever have to make music again. What I appreciate about this dude is every Gorillaz album, he puts out new music with either new artists or nostalgic artists." The latest lineup of The Gorillaz in their Plastic Beach era includes The Clash's Mick Jones and Paul Simonon, as well as a touring ensemble that included Mos Def, Bobby Womack, Booty Brown and De La Soul. "We went on tour and the majority of what we performed was new music - 75, 80%. If it was anything old, it was from first Gorillaz. He didn't touch anything from Blur."
Maseo says the trio applied that courage to their own 21-year old catalog that includes eight studio albums and a heralded mixtape. "We'll put out new music without the sake of being nervous. [But] we'll still get up there and still do the songs that the fans are just truly familiar with. Damon helped us break the ice. 'Yeah, let's take a chance. Let's do some of the songs on [The Impossible: Mission TV Series, Pt 1], let's do some of the songs that we'll just drop to the Internet here and there, like "Return of The DST" or perform some songs from the Nike [Are You In?] project.' We got caught up for a minute, thinking about the perception of the record. That if it didn't get the proper marketing and promotion that the crowd isn't gonna go for it."
"I got new life sparked in me, figuring out how to get the audience into the new material," said Maseo. "It's been fun." The 1980s alums are still making music with the aesthic that the routines should work in their childhood living-rooms, just as they did when the teenages got discovered by Prince Paul and Tommy Boy Records' Tom Silverman. "We're really good at making something out of nothing," said Maseo.
That said, this year definitely should prove to be something for De La Soul.