De La Soul are not dead. The pioneering New York rap trio hasn't released a full-fledged album since 2004's The Grind Date, but that's about to change. As Rolling Stone reports, the group's DJ, Maseo, has said De La Soul will independently release the song and video "Get Away (feat. the spirit of Wu-Tang)" this week. RS describes the material as the first of a "planned series of monthly single releases, through YouTube and social media."
Expect De La Soul's first proper single in nine years to criticize the current hip-hop landscape. "Everything sounds the same," Maseo is quoted as saying. "No real lyrical content. Everybody's just doing business, not really creating." The song also reportedly samples Wu-Tang Clan, specifically a skit from 1997's Wu-Tang Forever.
Despite not releasing an album, De La Soul haven't exactly been silent this past decade. About a year ago, the group's MCs Dave and Posdnuous released an album without Maseo called De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2 presents... First Serve. In 2009, they released the 44-minute continuous mix Are You In?: Nike+ Original Run, part of the shoemaker's series of commissioned mixes for running. Probably their most widely known work in recent years has been a couple of appearances on tracks by Gorillaz — including 2005 hit "Feel Good Inc.," which won De La Soul their first Grammy.
De La Soul have also continued to tour over the years. This year, starting in May, they'll be teaming up with LL Cool J, Public Enemy, and Ice Cube for the nationwide Kings of the Mic tour.
Kings of the Mic tour dates (via Rap-Up.com):
May 23 – Tucson, AZ @ Ava Amphitheater
May 24 – Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Casino
May 25 – San Francisco, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
May 26 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
May 30 – Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center
May 31 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah's Council Bluffs – Stir Cove
June 1 – St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
June 4 – Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theatre
June 6 – Saint Petersburg, FL @ Mahaffey Theater
June 7 – St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheatre
June 12 – Baltimore, MD @ Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric
June 14 – Simpsonville, SC @ Charter Amphitheatre
June 15 – Portsmouth, VA @ Telos Wireless Pavilion
June 16 – Durham, NC @ Durham Performing Arts Center
June 18 – Newark, NJ @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center
June 19 – Boston, MA @ Bank of America Pavilion
June 20 – New York, NY @ Roseland Ballroom
June 22 – Canandaigua, NY @ Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center
June 23 – Mount Pleasant, MI @ Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
June 25 – Cleveland, OH @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
June 26 – Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
June 27 – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
July 1 – Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre
July 2 – Austin, TX @ Stubb's Waller Creek Outdoor Amphitheater
July 3 – Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
July 5 – New Orleans, LA @ Essence Music Festival