Friday Night: De La Soul at Yoshi's

Categories: Last Night

De La Soul
Friday, Feb. 12, 2010
Better Than:
the winter Olympics

De La Soul is so well regarded for its laid-back grooves that its emcees don't always get the credit they deserve for microphone mastery. Friday night at Yoshi's, Maseo, Pos and Dave the Dove achieved total command of their audience with dense, rapid verbal variations and a series of participatory ploys, making a home for rap in the grandiloquent and marbled club.

The trio went for the throat when it came to crowd involvement, asking, "So we got hip-hop in the house tonight?" The fans started screaming loudly, and Pos went to the left side of the stage, motioning as if looking for hip-hop in the audience. "Is it over here?" he asked.

In the middle of the room, people shouted, "We're over here!" Dave, standing on the other side, said, "I'm partial to over here" -- and got his section leaping and hooting. With this routine of taking sides, the emcees played on the fans' competitiveness and killed any inertial laziness in the room.

Maseo stroked out jagged scratches, harmonizing with the crowd singing the "oo-ooh-oh-ohh" part of "Me, Myself and I." And Mase performed his share of verses, trading places at the forefront with Pos and Dave.

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