Edge of the Sun — Calexico

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De La Soul  — And the Anonymous NobodyIt’s been 12 years since De La Soul fans have been graced with new material. During the silence, the trio has been victim to what made them hip hop industry pioneers. Thirty years ago, De La Soul released its epic debut, 3 Feet High and Rising, which blended catchy loops, cranial rhymes and samples from all types of music. 

The creative samples that laid the foundation for most of the songs blended classic rock, funk and children’s songs, and unfortunately, due to the rise in digital streaming popularity, became pawns in the royalty game. De La Soul spent the past 12 years shelling out money and climbing out of the ashes of what it worked so hard to build. 

The one constant in the group’s plight was the diehard fan base. The trio returned the love a couple of years ago by offering its newsletter subscribers a free download to the catalog that caused so much grief but gave so much joy. 

Learning from experience and determined to maintain what made De La Soul so unique, the trio has released And the Anonymous Nobody, 17 tracks of 200-plus hours of music jammed by a live band. Financed by a Kickstarter campaign, this album is a nod to all those who gave and kept the dream alive. 

De La Soul’s backstory – along with superstar guest appearances by artists such as Snoop Dog, Damon Albarn, Jill Scott, Justin Hawkins, Usher and David Byrne – makes this record all the sweeter.

- Chris Rucker