De La Soul and Trugoy Finally Get Their Flowers at ‘D.A.I.S.Y’ Party-Concert With Dave Chappelle, Queen Latifah, Common, More
It was billed as a celebration of “the life and legacy of the late David ‘Trugoy the Dove’ Jolicoeur and the influence and impact of De La Soul,” but of course “The D.A.I.S.Y. Experience” ended up being a lot more than that.
It was a musical wake for De La co-founder Dave “Trugoy” Jolicoeur, who died less than a month ago; it was a family reunion for the people around the long-running group and their literal families; and it was a long, long overdue celebration of the release on streaming services of the group’s first six albums — most notably, their culture-shifting 1989 debut, “3 Feet High and Rising,” which changed the sound and face of hip-hop, making it psychedelic, funny, suburban, stoner and fun in ways that the art form, which previously had been almost entirely aggressive and street, had not previously been. De La’s first six albums had been caught in a legal morass for more than two decades (head here for more on that), and it’s finally over.
More from Variety
A Guide to De La Soul's Pioneering Early Albums, Finally Available on Streaming Services
De La Soul's Music Is Finally Coming to Streaming Services in March
So it was no surprise that this event turned into a celebratory concert featuring not only surviving members Kelvin “Posdnuos” Mercer and Vincent Lamont “Maseo” Mason Jr. but also Common (who performed “The Bizness” with the two), Queen Latifah (who did an impromptu version of her classic “Ladies First”), Q-Tip, Public Enemy’s Chuck D., Black Thought, Talib Kweli, Monie Love, and others. Dave Chappelle spoke, and a battery of the DJs in the house — including DJ Red Alert, DJ Premier, D-Nice, the group’s longtime producer Prince Paul and more — rocked the proverbial ones and twos, with the Originals (D-Nice, Stretch Armstrong, Clark Kent, and Rich Medina) curating a set dedicated to the De La Soul’s legacy.
The event — held Thursday night at New York’s Webster Hall, the site of the group’s first major concert in 1989 — was photographed by legendary hip-hop photographer Johnny Nunez and in the digital space, the Amazon Music channel on Twitch livestreamed a series of interviews with friends of De La Soul and special guests.
Hundreds of NYC hip-hop veterans attended the event, and seemingly half of them appeared with the performers on the most crowded stage we have ever seen.
The event was anchored by Reservoir — the company that now controls the group’s catalog and resolved the legal mess — and produced in conjunction with Amazon Music, which tastefully but elaborately decked out Webster Hall with posters, activations, and thoughtful touches that shows the depth of their own fandom.
Not only were there posters and flowers all over the place, there were yogurt snacks at the bar (Jolicoeur’s stage name was “yogurt” spelled backwards, because he loved it)…
Colorful videos played on flatscreen TVs…
There were photo activations and clever touches like a flowered-up stairway…
A De La lyric about water over the water fountain…
…and lots more…
It was a tasteful, touching and thoughtfully curated event that was a fitting tribute to the fact that De La Soul’s music has finally returned not only to the hip-hop culture that it helped to shape, but to music fans everywhere.
Best of Variety
From 'Daisy Jones & The Six' to 'Blonde': Books Made Into Movies and TV Series That You Should Read
Oscar Predictions: Documentary Short - Could ‘Stranger at the Gate’ Surprise on Oscar Night?
Oscars Predictions: Live Action Short - Alfonso Cuarón Could Tie Walt Disney’s Record With His Nominated Disney Short
Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.