The Art of Crafting "Stakes Are Sky-High": De La Soul on Native Tongues & Parting Ways with Jolicoeur

In a recent episode of the People's Party podcast, hip hop group De La Soul opened up about the making of their classic album "Stakes Is High," their relationship with the Native Tongues collective, and the departure of member David Jolicoeur.

The interview begins by discussing the creation process behind "Stakes Is High," which was released in 1996. De La Soul explained that the album was a response to the changing landscape of hip hop and their desire to maintain their integrity amidst the gangster rap era. They aimed to address social issues and bring consciousness back to the genre.

The group also delved into their connection with the Native Tongues collective, a group of like-minded artists including A Tribe Called Quest and Jungle Brothers. They spoke about the supportive and creative environment within the collective, where artists would collaborate and inspire each other. De La Soul emphasized the importance of having a sense of community and how it influenced their music during that time.

However, amidst the success and camaraderie, tensions began to rise within the group. David Jolicoeur, also known as Trugoy the Dove, decided to take a break from De La Soul due to personal reasons. The remaining members, Kelvin Mercer (aka Posdnuos) and Vincent Mason (aka Masondabluez) acknowledged that his departure was a significant blow and affected their dynamic as a trio. They emphasized that losing Jolicoeur was a pivotal moment in their career, which led them to explore new sounds and push their creative boundaries.

Moreover, De La Soul addressed the long-standing fight to gain control over their music catalog. They revealed that due to label disputes and sample clearance issues, their early albums were not available on streaming platforms for years. They expressed frustration over the lack of control they had over their own music and the impact it had on their legacy.

Despite the challenges they faced, De La Soul remains determined to continue making music that resonates with their fans. They emphasized the importance of staying true to their vision and making music they believe in, regardless of the changing industry landscape.

In conclusion, the People's Party podcast episode with De La Soul shed light on the making of their iconic album "Stakes Is High," the influence of the Native Tongues collective, and the departure of member David Jolicoeur. It also highlighted the group's ongoing struggle for control over their music catalog. Despite the obstacles, De La Soul remains committed to their artistic vision and creating music that reflects their values.