The Grind Date

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The Grind Date
Studio album by De La Soul
Released October 5, 2004
Recorded 2002–2004
Genre East Coast hip hop, alternative hip hop
Length 52:43
Label AOI/Sanctuary Urban
06076-87512
Producer Posdnuos, Supa Dave West, J Dilla, Madlib, 9th Wonder, Jake One
De La Soul chronology
Live at Tramps, NYC, 1996
(2004)
The Grind Date
(2004)
The Impossible: Mission TV Series - Pt. 1
(2006)

The Grind Date is the seventh album from hip-hop group De La Soul, released on October 5, 2004. The album was originally intended to be the final album of the Art Official Intelligence (AOI) trilogy, but as the album quickly changed focus, the group decided to put AOI III on hold and finish The Grind Date as a stand-alone work.

Overview[edit]

Music[edit]

The Grind Date is a notably brisker, and leaner work than the group's previous albums, and features a top of the line array of production talents including the late J Dilla (who was part of A Tribe Called Quest's production unit, The Ummah), Madlib ("Shopping Bags (She Got From You)"), and 9th Wonder ("Church"). Producer Supa Dave West, who handled the majority of the AOI albums, also contributes five tracks to the album. "Rock Co.Kane Flow" featuring MF DOOM, was produced by Jake One, and sees Posdnuos addressing some recent trends in Hip hop with the line "Unlike them, we craft gems / so systematically inclined to pen lines / without sayin a producer's name, all over the track". The well received collaboration also brought attention to the then-unknown Jake One.

The album is light on guest appearances and features a total of four guest MCs, including Common. Unlike every De La Soul album before it, The Grind Date contains no skits at all, although a short musical prelude does precede the first song "The Future". The album's conceptual cover and sleeve booklet, based on a 2005 calendar, was designed by Morning Breath Inc.

In November 2014, The Grind Date will be reissued by BMG Rights Management to commemorate the album's tenth anniversary. .

BET controversy[edit]

The first official single, "Shopping Bags", received little recognition by the media. BET, for instance, refused to play the "Shopping Bags" music video and stated that it did not appeal to their targeted audience. In addition, BET claimed that De La Soul weren't relevant to BET's viewers. Many hip-hop fans were likely outraged by this accusation, as De La Soul is considered to be one of the most important and influential groups in hip-hop history; this opinion was shared by large-audience music critics Robert Christgau, who wrote "partly our ears have changed and partly theirs have, so that their brilliant hunches now sound like glowing accomplishments," and AMG's Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who noted, "At the time of its 1989 release, De La Soul's debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, was hailed as the future of hip-hop."[1] The video did end up on rotation on smaller outlets such as MTV2, but it never received much (if any) airplay from MTV or BET.

Ironically, the group's collaboration with Gorillaz, Feel Good, Inc., was one of the biggest singles of 2005.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (80/100)[2]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllHipHop 4.5/5 stars[3]
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[4]
HipHopDX.com 4/5 stars[5]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[6]
Pitchfork Media (8.2/10)[7]
RapReviews.com 10/10 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[9]
Tiny Mix Tapes 4.5/5 stars[10]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[11]
Vibe 4/5 stars[12]

The album met with a great deal of critical praise, as of February 25, 2008 according to Metacritic, the album has received an average critic score of 80%, based on 20 reviews, thus giving it the "generally favorable reviews" tag.[2]

Pitchfork Media writer Jamin Warren praises the album writing, "The Grind Date brings together an unimaginable team of the underground's hottest producers and meshes their idiosyncrasies without dissidence."[7] RapReviews who rewarded the album with a perfect score wrote, "They were just waiting for the right time to kick precisely the right rhyme, so that "The Grind Date" would go down not just as an important date in rap history but in the pantheon of all musical endeavours since the dawn of mankind. It's that damn good."[8]

De La Soul, previously known for their skits, gained a lot of support from Stylus Magazine writer Josh Drimmer who wrote, "The Grind Date is as notable for what it lacks—skits, filler, bullshit—than for what it has." Lost At Sea also favored the no skits on The Grind Date, "The Grind Date is almost shockingly excellent. This is De La Soul at their most focused – no skits, no filler, no weird interludes." Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B+ and called it "worth keeping",[13] while Robert Christgau gave it a one-star honorable mention ((1-star Honorable Mention)).[14]

Despite generally favorable reviews and positivity towards their new style, especially in production, there were those who didn't praise it. Rolling Stone wrote, "There's little personality and no surprises here..." and regards to the production "...Flavor Flav's rote shucking on "Come On Down" to Madlib's Chingy-type beat for "Shopping Bags.""[9]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Length Songwriters Producers Performers Samples
1 "The Future" 3:49 De La Soul, Dave West, Eddie Fluellen, Jermaine Jackson and Hazel Jackson Supa Dave West De La Soul Switch - A Brighter Tomorrow
2 "Verbal Clap" 3:16 De La Soul, J Dilla, Rick Wakeman, Norman Landsberg, Felix Pappalardi, John Ventura, Leslie Weinstein and Daryl short J Dilla De La Soul Rick Wakeman - Catherine Of Aragon, Mountain - Long Red
3 "Much More" 4:05 De La Soul, Skip Scarborough and Shuggie Ottis J Dilla De La Soul, DJ Premier and Yummy Bingham L.T.D. - Love Ballad, Shuggie Otis - Strawberry Letter 23
4 "Shopping Bags (She Got From You)" 3:57 De La Soul and Madlib Madlib De La Soul
5 "The Grind Date" 3:22 De La Soul, Supa Dave West, Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White (Yes) Supa Dave West De La Soul Yes - Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil)
6 "Church" 5:32 De La Soul, Ninth Wonder and Marlon McClain 9th Wonder De La Soul, Spike Lee Pleasure - Reality
7 "It's Like That" 4:36 De La Soul, Dave West and Carl Thomas Supa Dave West De La Soul, Carl Thomas
8 "He Comes" 3:44 De La Soul, Carl Thomas, Ghostface killah and Eugene Record Supa Dave West De La Soul, Ghostface Killah Eugene Record - Here Comes The Sun
9 "Days Of Our Lives" 3:51 De La Soul, Common, Jake One, William Beck, Leroy Bonner, Marshall Jones, Ralph Middlebrooks, Marvin Pierce, Clarence Satchell and James Williams Jake One De La Soul and Common The Ohio Players - My Life
10 "Come On Down" 5:01 De La Soul and Madlib Madlib De La Soul and Flava Flav Esther Williams - Last Night Changed It All
11 "No" 4:34 De La Soul, Butta Verses, Dave West and Clifton Davis Supa Dave West De La Soul, Butta Verses and Yummy Bingham The Jackson 5 - Never Can Say Goodbye
12 "Rock Co.Kane Flow" 3:06 De La Soul, MF DOOM, Jake One, Paul Greedos, Diddier Marouani and Roland Romanelli Jake One De La Soul and MF DOOM Space - Deliverance
13 "Shoomp" (European Release Exclusive) 3:41 De La Soul J Dilla De La Soul and Sean Paul Tom Tom Club - Genius Of Love

Album singles[edit]

Single cover Single information
"Shoomp"
  • Released: 2003
  • B-side: Much More
"Shopping Bags (She Got From You)"
  • Released: 2004
  • B-side: "The Grind Date"
"Rock Co.Kane Flow"
  • Released: 2004
  • B-side:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. De La Soul Biography at AllMusic
  2. ^ a b "The Grind Date Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Burton, Orisanmi (11 October 2004). "The Grind Date". AllHipHop. 
  4. ^ Bush, John. "De La Soul: The Grind Date > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  5. ^ J-23 (18 October 2004). "De La Soul: The Grind Date". HipHopDX.com. 
  6. ^ Baker, Soren (24 October 2004). "De La Soul as boldly creative as in the '80s". Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ a b Warren, Jamin (7 October 2004). "De La Soul: The Grind Date". Pitchfork Media. 
  8. ^ a b Juon, Steve (12 October 2004). "De La Soul :: The Grind Date". RapReviews.com. 
  9. ^ a b Relic, Peter (25 November 2004). "De La Soul: The Grind Date". Rolling Stone. 
  10. ^ marti332. "The Grind Date". Tiny Mix Tapes. Archived from the original on 24 October 2004. 
  11. ^ Jones, Steve (4 October 2004). "De La Soul, The Grind Date". R.E.M.'s 'Sun' sets a dark tone. USA Today. 
  12. ^ Sanico, Jeff (November 2004). "De La Soul: The Grind Date". Vibe: 162. 
  13. ^ Fiore, Raymond (8 October 2004). "The Grind Date Review". Entertainment Weekly. p. 117. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: De La Soul". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 13 June 2012.