De La Soul, the legendary hip-hop trio from New York, has just released a new single from their upcoming record and the Anonymous Nobody…, which is due August 26. The record will be their first in 12 years, announcing a comeback for the underground, truly independent artists. The single, “Royalty Capes,” sees the trio boasting and swaggering with lines like “Us three be the omega like fish oil” and more simply “We are royalty.”
The new single comes after another track, “Pain,” a cut from the upcoming record featuring Snoop Dogg. Another song from the upcoming record, “Trainwrecks,” was also featured on their last EP, For Your Pain and Suffering. Funnily, even the EP has quite a backstory to it. After raising $600,000 on Kickstarter for their new LP and promising an April 29 release date, the record had to be pushed back due to various technical issues. And For Your Pain and Suffering was the result of De La Soul trying to appease and soothe the wrath of the angry fans.
However, the new record seems to be worth the wait; and the Anonymous Nobody… has quite the impressive guest list, including David Byrne of Talking Heads fame, Damon Albarn (who collaborated with De La Soul on the Gorillaz track “Feel Good Inc.”), Usher, Little Dragon, Estelle, Pete Rock, 2 Chainz, Jill Scott, and more. Additionally, the completely independent aspect of the record (funded without the help of a major label) allows De La Soul to be experimental and forward thinking without answering to corporate calls for a catchy hook or a memorable chorus.
Earlier this year, Kelvin “Posdnuos” Mercer spoke to Rolling Stone regarding the record. “”We couldn’t do that on a regular label,” said Posdnuos. “How you gonna present them with a song like this? They may think it’s beautiful but then it’s like, ‘Okay, so, there’s no chorus. For maybe the first three minutes of the record, you’re nowhere to be found.'”
“Royal Capes,” with its dense bassline and saxophone flourishes seems to hint at this experimentation. De La Soul spoke of the song on the group’s Facebook page: “Royalty Capes, produced by Dave aka Plug Too and mixed by Bob Power, is one of the first songs recorded during early jam sessions for and the Anonymous Nobody. Recording started at The Bomb Shelter and perfected at historic Vox Studios in LA with an unorthodox 9 bar loop of saxophone slowed down and reconstituted for Pos and Dave. It was one of those rare moments where he Dave wrote his part first. Dave said it just sounded like royalty walking in and he put his rhymes down and Pos followed his lead.”
Check out the new track here: