De La Soul is of My Soul & This Fact I Can't Deny...
"WHERE WERE YOU THE FIRST TIME YOU HEARD POTHOLES?"
Instantly I was jettisoned back to the ugly, green, matte carpet of our house on Espinola. I was watching YO! MTV Raps when a black & white video came on with a strong horn intro. I sat up straighter and paid attention. I cracked up with my Concert Crony about how I had NO IDEA what the hell that song was about, but it felt good. After that, De La Soul was officially a part of my psyche. Twenty years later, they're still food for my soul.
When we arrived at the warehouse (Nine Thirty puts it down!!) Trugoy the Dove, Plug 2 for short, was outside choppin' it up. I was amazed at how short he was, always seeing him in videos or looming over me from On High (stage) has skewed how big he is in my mind. I've never been a groupie chick, except for the 1 time with Common, and certainly haven't joined in with the masses to take cell phone photo shoots and beg for autographs across my cleavage. "Oh, Mr. Dave, I love you SO MUCH!! Would you mind taking a picture with me?" Not my style. So I pressed on and got checked and double checked on my ID, had permission to drink stamped on my right hand, and made it up top where we always chill. After getting there I openly kicked myself for allowing the chance to be photographed with 1/3 of my favorite hip hop group. DAMN THAT WAS STUPID!!
Maseo Plug 3rd was on stage first. The soft belly of his youth is officially the gut of a grown man whose had his fair share of food on the road, attacks of the munchies, and an unforgettable career as the Rappin DJ of De La Soul. I chuckled to myself, thinking how adorable and teddy bear-esque he was. He played and joked with the crowd all night, but he brought the welcoming vibe for those of us facing the stage and those to take their place on it with him. It was all so endearing, I felt like a younger cousin, finally old enough to come over for the first time without my mama. I felt special...
After a cat name Bill Ray did his newcomer thing and the band, Rhythm Roots Allstars, was introduced, Pos and Dove came out to the roar of childhoods relived and a flood of good memories going by like a slide show. I was 14 again. As De La did banger after banger, having pressed play on the soundtrack to my teen and young adult years, I jumped around like I was in that group House of Pain. The sista next to me clearly lived what I'd lived, evidenced by the synchronized movements and shared animation. My Concert Crony watched in awe, having never seen me participate in a show on this level.
I can't tell you which song they hit the best. That would basically be a playlist of hits copied and pasted from their discography. What a waste of time. I felt every word, rhymed along even when artistic license meant the song was changed up a little for the show. I rapped and danced, clapped and nodded my head. I jumped up and down and pumped my fist like this. I lost my mind for an hour and a half with the group who moved me most back when hip hop was bigger than a check (though well deserved checks that probably were a few stacks shorter than they should've been). I jumped for the boy I snuck out the back door when my mom came in the through the front. I jumped for that kiss that Kevin gave me on the back step. I jumped for my first house party and my first school dance. Days at the rec center posted up for boys to see us, tryin to pretend like I didn't know the exact time Du'Shawn came to play basketball. I jumped for sleepovers at Kim's and hanging out at the Citadel. Richard pushing me into the bathroom at the track meet and kissing me with lips he'd just put Carmex on. We shared 2 kinds of fire that moment. I jumped for strolls down the Avenue of the Oaks and snowballs at Dino's, and the House of Blues, New Orleans. I jumped for who I was then and how that's helped script who I am now.
Where was I the first time I heard "Potholes?" I was sittin on the floor, on that ugly, green, matte carpet watching YO! MTV Raps. Aside from the standing up, I watched the whole show from that same seat.
Watch me move.