Daisy Chainz: What Will A De La Soul & 2 Chainz Collabo Do To Rap Music?
De La Soul have always been underdogs by design. In the late ’80s, they were skewering macho and/or conformist tendencies within the adolescent b-boy culture on “Me Myself & I” (and it’s b-side “Brainwashed Follower.”) In the early ’90s, they named their sophomore LP De La Soul Is Dead. And by the mid-’90s they could be found doing their own laundry in their music videos. In short, Plugs 1 through 3 have always taken a humorous, down-to-earth approach to the sometimes self-aggrandizing excess of hip-hop culture. True to form, their forthcoming and long-awaited album is titled De La Soul – …And The Anonymous Nobody.
A closer inspection of the star-studded tracklist, however, reveals that the ‘Nobodies’ in question include Usher, David Byrne of the Talking Heads and 2 Chainz, to just name a few. The heavyweights lining up to go to bat for De La (you can add Snoop Doog, Damon Albarn, Estelle, Little Dragon and Jill Scott to the mix!) and the music they’ve teased so far are clear indicators that the other part of the De La Soul equation is also holding true to form this time out: no amount of self-deprecation can conceal that they are among the greatest in the game. Ever.
If a De La collabo with 2 Chainz (new supergroup: Daisy Chainz!) is a bit to brain-rearranging to even imagine, you are in luck. Plug 3, also known as Maseo, was gracious enough to get on the phone with Okayplayer from his London hotel room to participate in a Secret History of their classic ’96 LP Stakes is High—and while we’re running up the bill on an international call anyway, we had him give us the inside perspective on working with Usher, David Byrne and yes, the mighty 2 Chainz. Or as Mase prefers on thinking of him: the mighty Tity Boi. Read on below to get the full scoop.
Okayplayer: So, you guys are on a pretty hectic run [with touring] it seems like?
Maseo: Yeah. It’s picking up, getting more and more hectic.
OKP: How many dates are you doing in the UK?
Mase: I’m really not sure, honestly. It’s kind of a blur to me right now because I’ve been doing so much. I’ve just been relying on my team to have things in place and I can just show up and do my part. Because I’m still recording some other music. This album is completely done but I’m working with some other artists and still being a family man. Trying to meet the demand of all these things, I’m relying on my team. I know that I’m out here in the UK and Europe from June 26th. That’s what I do know! And my squad got my full attention while I’m here.
OKP: So, they just point you at the stage and you do your thing?
Mase: Yeah, we trust each other. We spent a lotta years now. I don’t think nobody is going to lead me to a pile of dung.
OKP: When you say you’re working on other music is that your solo projects or artists that you’re developing or is it De La projects?
Mase: Definitely the Maseo record. Which is due to come out on AOI Records and also my artist Bill Ray. He is a big reason why I’m really doing the Maseo Record because I have an artist that I really think is great and due to the changes in the business altogether. It’s really been difficult building that name, so I’m definitely using this record as a platform to showcase him and deliver some good music for the people who are still checking for us.
OKP: There are a lot of people still checking for you!
Mase: I would like to keep delivering for them and putting them on to new things.
OKP: Do you have a rough time frame for that in mind? Is that a 2016 record or 2017?
Mase: I’m definitely looking in between. I’m going to say 2017 because I want to put out some records after we feel like we got the proper attention on …And The Anonymous Nobody. I don’t want to do anything that could possibly even drown out the new record or the new record drowning out the records [that] I’m looking to put out. By the time I put this record out, I want the fans to actually go, “Oh wow. They’re ready for something else.” Right now, they’re checking for …And the Anonymous Nobody. Can’t counteract that with something other than that.
OKP: This is De La’s year it seems like. I wanted to talk to you a little bit about the new LP… everything is complete and in the can at this point? The album is done now?