DE LA SOUL - SUPA EMCEES: Right through the mid-‘90s De la Soul was one of HipHop’s most influential and creative groups. Well, truthfully, by the mid-90’s they were more creative than influential. But during those early years De la was doing things lyrically, sonically, and conceptually that simply weren’t being done. I’m still not sure I completely understand everything on albums two and three.

The fact that they found early commercial success with one image and then literally killed it because it wasn’t representative of how they wanted to be perceived is still absolutely unheard of.

With this piece I wanted to add a lot of color and various De la depictions and images to capture the spirit of their work in which there are always multiple ways to interpret everything.

As for the lyrics, those are taken from “The Bizness”:

I'm the most from the coast of the Eastern flav’/
Droppin’ more knowledge than litter, on the New York pave

It’s me, wonder why, in the place to be / Certified, as superior, MC

While others explore to make it hardcore /
I make it hard for, wack MC’s to even step inside the door

‘Cause these kids is rhyming, sometiming / And when we get to racing on the mic, they line up to see the lyrical killing / with stained egos on the ceiling

My rhymes escalate like Black death rates / Over musical plates / being played as the rule / Kids thinking stepping to the Soul, you’re labeled fools / who claim to drop jewels but for now you do the catching

I don't worry on what crew you run, or what section of earth you reside / you're not even a man / So I don’t deem it mandatory taking your pride

But I will, ‘cause my man said Soul for the life / You cry "Keepin’ it real," yet you should try keepin’ it right

That’s understanding microphone mathematics / Which leaves the currency in temporary world status

And when one shows he posed threat to this one / This one will make that one into none

Simple equation, zero / you shouldn’t play hero if you can’t stand Strong like the Island I’m from