At number 7 we have an entry from De La Soul, Buhloone Mindstate. It is the best De La record to date, and considering how bad their recent output has been, it is probably the best De La album period. Artsy types will often gravitate towards their first two records 3 Feet High and Rising and De La Soul is Dead, one of which is good and one of which is kind of a cluster fuck. Ill let you figure out which is which. Purists will often go with Stakes is High which is an average effort at best, and the worst of the 4 De La albums that matter, it also signified the beginning of the end for De La as an important entity.
Bulhoone Mind State is the high water mark of their artistic creativity and maturity. Marking the first time in the groups history that all three major contributors were on the same playing feild. Dave aka Trugoy was always a capable MC but was carried by the greatness of Posdnous and Prince Paul. This was the first time it felt like Dave could hang. It is also the only rap record that ever made it into the category of grown folk music that wasnt a Jay-Z post Black Album-esque snooze fest or some crotchety old folks telling the kids to pull their pants up.
The Lyrics are intense, layered, and personal. Posdnous delivers one of the greatest lyrical performances in the history of the genre. His lyrics are brilliant, revealing, and easy to grasp, while still holding true to his abstract style. His patterns are absolutely absurd. The high point being his verse on I Am I Be. Prince Paul’s The production is a cleaned up and more to the point version of 3 Feet High and Rising. They are soulful and not in a shitty Common post Resurrection vibe.
Outside of the weird asian guys rapping (which luckily isnt too long) the album is flawless. Truth be told I have recently become reacquanted with this album and it is the inspiration for this bizarre quest to change the way we look at rap albums, moving from an impact, historical significance and sales number model to one of artistry. Buhloone Mindstate is definitely one of the artistic high points in the history of the genre.