How many hip-hop groups have been around since the Eighties, have managed to release constant hotness and then decide to flip the script by releasing an album in three parts? Any ideas? Well, maybe Maseo, Pos and Dave can tell you. De La Soul are back with their second of three album AOI: Bionix. . Unlike the first one, this album is soulful, soulful with a lot of sounds coming from the old school. A place where De La know well about.

The 18 tracks with production by De La themselves and also Jay Dee (who is blowing up nicely). Also features include Devin the Dude, Glenn Lewis, Slick Rick, B-Real and Cee-Lo Goodie of Goodie Mob fame.

Before I was even aware, the first track Bionix came through and sounded like a game show/ Jackson 5 track but changed into a hip-hop beat with times hand claps and a striking piano. “Simply Havin’” sounds like an old school jam that ends just as your start to get into it. “Held Down” featuring Cee-Lo Goodie has a guitar straight out of Pulp Fiction and it sounds like Bob Marley was in the studio when Cee-Lo dropped his vocals. Also, “Watch Out, “Special“, “What We Do (for love)” featuring classic Slick Rick and “Trying People“, which has a nice sample taken from “Black Path” by Fifth Dimension.

How De La found a way to put all these tracks onto one album, I don’t know but it’s obvious they didn’t leave space for album fillers, which are synonymous in hip-hop today. Maybe it’s their ten plus years of experience that’s shown them how to make a successful album. And this is no exception.

This album tops Art Official Intelligence and leaves this fan to ask, what the hell are they going to do for the final album, due next year?! I can’t wait!