De La Soul Details Native Tongues Formation, Standout Cut "Buddy"
Exclusive: DJ Maseo explains how the remix for "Buddy" was created.
De La Soul performed in Boston earlier this month and reflected on a full-circle moment for the group. De La Soul emcee Posdnuous took a moment during the group’s performance to address the sold-out crowd with a factoid regarding the formation of the groundbreaking New York-based crew The Native Tongues 26 years earlier.
“The beginning of the Native Tongue crew actually began here in Boston,” Posdnuous said during the Boston concert. "We played a show here in 1988 with Jungle [Brothers], Lakim Shabazz, Finesse & Synquis and us.”
After the show, DJ Maseo said that the single and video for De La Soul's “Buddy,” which was first video to showcase the original Native Tongue collective featuring De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifah, Monie Love, Chi Ali and the late Violator Records founder Chris Lighty, had a specific direction.
“We knew that it would be conceptual,” DJ Maseo says during an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. "I think the only thing that came to be conceptual was [Prince] Paul’s intro in the beginning. Everything else was kind of freestyle-flowing, just going off the wish list kinda. Kicking off our camaraderie as Native Tongue, it was actually kinda blowing more than us. You know what I mean? So it was really just seizing the moment.
“It happened really fast and around the time of doing those shows, Boston being one of them, we were in the midst of recording 3 Feet High and Rising,” he continues. "So Jungle came through the studio, and the next time you know Afrika was in the booth. Not the version that everybody hears, but the album version, the original version. We were in the studio with that one. Once the album came out, that’s when we started performing it around New York with Jungle, and we would do it to the Taana Gardner ‘Heartbeat' beat, which was Q-Tip’s idea. Pos took it into the studio, and next thing you know, we put it all together. We remixed it, relaid the track, and everybody remade new vocals. Same vocals, but fresh.”
De La Soul is currently on tour, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the group's landmark debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising.
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