De La Soul: Pasemaster Mase, Posdnous, Trugoy (rap vocals).
Personnel: Mos Def, Truth Enola, Yankee B. (vocals); Pic Conley (flute).
Additional personnel: Mos Def, Prince Paul, Busta Rhymes (rap vocals); DJ Honda, Da Beatminerz (programming).
Audio Mixers: De La Soul; Prince Paul; Sue Faber; Chris Conway ; Tim Latham; Troy Hightower; Bob Power.
Audio Remasterers: Daniel Hersch; Steve Pokorny.
Audio Remixers: Jay Dee; De La Soul; DJ Spinna; DJ Joc Max; Badmarsh & Shri.
Liner Note Author: Chairman Mao.
Arrangers: De La Soul; Prince Paul.
Attempting to assemble every De La Soul rarity, remix, guest shot, and B-side onto one collection would be pure folly, as there are simply so many excellent tunes in the group's catalog. Since overwhelming both critics and hip-hop fans in 1989 with their seminal debut, 3 FEET HIGH & RISING, the trio has been one of the more prolific ensembles in rap, constantly collaborating with various members of the loose-knit Native Tongues collective on numerous albums, singles, and assorted compilation tracks.
DE LA MIX TAPE doesn't try to be a definitive compilation (nor is it really a traditional mix tape, for that matter), but it cuts a swathe across De La Soul history. Classic album tracks, including "The Magic Number" and "Oodles of O's," share the stage with obscure cuts ("Piles and Piles of Demo Tapes Bi-Da Miles," a jazzy, flute-adorned instrumental version of 1991 single "Ring Ring Ring [Ha Ha Hey]"). Another rarity, the masterfully defiant "Trouble in the Water" (from a 1998 DJ Honda album), proves to be a highlight of this fun, funky journey through De La's past.