Rolling Stone - 5/30/914 Stars
- Excellent - "...No hip-hop album since perhaps L.L. Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" or De La Soul's first outing has arrived so sonically crafted by personality and musicianship as "De la Soul Is Dead"...'De La Soul Is Dead' confirms first that '3 Feet High and Rising' was no fluke and second that these guys are true hip-hop scholars..."
Spin - 9/99, p.156Ranked #74
in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s."
Spin - 1991Ranked #17
in Spin's list of the 20 Best Albums Of 1991.
Q - 12/03, p.1494 stars out of 5
- "...Addictively bitter and caustic..."
Uncut - 6/03, pp.132-3
"...[With] wild humour, social conscience and ragged invention. It's 3 FEET HIGH's forgotten cousin, bitter but still bright..."
CMJ - 3/1/99, p.30
"...DEAD's streetwise veneer and abstract sense of humor may have thrown off many of the pop kids...but those who "got it" gave the crew utmost respect from that day on....No other hip-hop album has been able to touch this one for more than a decade..."
Vibe - 12/99, p.157
Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century
Vibe - 6/02, p.109Ranked #8
in Vibe's "Top 10 rap albums" - "...One of the most progressive, complex and boldly experimental albums hip hop has ever seen..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 6/00, p.125
"Another band deconstructing their own mythology....De La hit back at the black hippy jibes with a fresh agenda..."
De La Soul: Posdnuos, Trugoy, Mase.
Additional personnel: Q-Tip, Black Sheep, Jungle Brothers.
Audio Mixers: Mike Teelucksingh; Al Watts; Chris Irwin; Bob Powers; Lisle Leete.
Recording information: Calliope Productions.
Illustrator: Joseph Buckingham Jr.
After the peaceful, loving vibes of De La Soul's first album, 3 FEET HIGH AND RISING, nobody expected the harder-edged sound of DE LA SOUL IS DEAD, a paranoid, bitter critique of fans, detractors, and the state of the world.
DE LA SOUL IS DEAD deals with the great and small issues in life. On "Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa," De La tells the story of the daughter of a successful social worker who is molesting her. They take on fast food customer service in "Bitties in the BK Lounge": "Young girl, won't you take my order? …could be pissed 'cause she's clockin' $2.45 an hour." On the hit "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)," De La tells of being overwhelmed by people trying to use the group to get in the business: "She was screamin' and screamin' and she had the tape in her hand and I knew what she wanted…" The good times aren't totally ignored--the party anthem "A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays" delivers the good old fashioned De La fun. With DE LA SOUL IS DEAD, the trio graduates from the happy days of the D.A.I.S.Y. age to the harsh truths of reality.