I was blessed with the opportunity to participate in this monumental Top 50 Albums of the 2000s list at Passion of the Weiss. Below is one of three writeups I contributed to the list, on De La’s The Grind Date. I won’t spoil the other two. In the meantime, click that blurb to read the whole spiel and the rest of the bottom 50.
Consider The Grind Date a guide to aging gracefully in hip-hop. It’s not that hard to do; let Pos and Dave show you how. Start with strong, sonically unified production. The Grind Date’s producer lineup is serious. De La are blessed with fantastic beats by Madlib, Dilla, Jake One and regular collaborator Supa Dave West, and a surprisingly dope 9th Wonder production on “The Future”. The tracks are filled with thick bass lines and hard drums. Dilla’s mix of turning signals, reverberating strings and pounding bass on “Verbal Clap” spurs Pos and Dave to spit their hardest verses since Stakes Is High. On “Shopping Bags”, Madlib slices and splices Just-Ice’s “Cold Getting Dumb” until it sounds like the beat was played on empty glass bottles. Jake One’s thunderous, piano-driven thump on “Rock. Co. Kane Flow”. Supa Dave West dependably provides soulful boom-bap backed by gorgeous vocal samples on “He Comes”, “The Future” and “The Grind Date”.