By Maurice Bobb
The term “legendary” gets thrown around in hip-hop circles like singles in a strip club, but for De La Soul, the term fits like a sonic glove. The Long Island native tongues have been laying pretty low since 2004’s The Grind Date, but they’re back with a vengeance on their latest studio single “Get Away (feat. the Spirit of the Wu)” which debuted via RollingStone.
Wu-Tang Clan purists may be confused by the track’s title, but Posdnuos reveals that it’s an homage to the Staten Island collective’s heavy influence on the song.
“I’ve always loved the ‘Intro’ on Disc Two of Wu-Tang Forever – this eerie sample with no beat, that they only talked over,” Pos told Rolling Stone. “I stumbled on the original sample while crate digging one day, took it straight to the lab and added drums. The feel is definitely gritty, hard and sounds like a Wu record, so out of inspirational respect, we included featuring ‘The Spirit of the Wu’ in the song title.”
De La’s “Get Away” is the first musical domino to drop in a planned series of monthly single releases via YouTube and social media. The in-your-face salvo begins with the familiar sample before Pos jumps on the beat with an immediate hat tip to the Wu, “Like the Wu we bring it to you in the purest form/we reside far away from the norm,” then adds his signature off-kilter metaphors with lines like, “This to that town/monitor the pat down/searching for controlled substance with sustenance/we inventors of the drug, ever since day glow covers broke pots, green balloons.”
Dave holds his own, as well, chiming in on the track’s call for rappers to “just go, get away from here/you jammin’ the lane up, messin’ the game up” for their redundant contributions to the rap game over these many years.
“I think it’s a great record to reintroduce ourselves with,” Maseo said. “It’s pretty much reflecting on the state of hip-hop at this moment. Everything is redundant. Everything sounds the same. No real lyrical content. Everybody’s just doing business, not really creating. I think putting out those singles would be more impressionable than dropping an album at this present day in music. It’s about trying to just creatively have a bunch of songs in the stable. You have to consider a lot from the administrative standpoint in the release of a project. I see the song that we’re putting out being the perfect B-side – with a video this time.”
The 3 Feet High and Rising MCs will join LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Ice Cube in May for the “Kings of the Mic” tour. “Get Away” is slated to be on the trio’s upcoming album, You’re Welcome, due this fall.