De La Soul continue their prolific 2014 with the mixtape Smell The Da.I.S.Y., which is (in the group's own words), "A compilation of classic De La over J.D. joints." This means it consists of previously recorded material by both artists, mixed together and sprinkled with a few new additions by the guys from De La. It's a tribute to James Yancey (AKA Dilla), who passed away in 2006 due to a rare blood disease, and thusly, the "Da.I.S.Y." in the title stands for "Da Inner Soul of Yancey." It's a slight alteration of the "D.A.I.S.Y. Age" concept De La introduced on their debut album, with the original acronym standing for "da inner sound, y'all."
Offered as a free download on De La Soul's official website, Smell The Da.I.S.Y. has also been uploaded to SoundCloud as a playlist that contains both a "*Seamless Mix*" of the tape, as well as version that breaks it down by individual tracks. The mixtape is only 30 minutes in length, but the above playlist is about an hour long for that reason.
Fans of both De La and Dilla (side note: I can't believe no one thought to call this Dilla Soul) will have fun picking out the recognizable elements of Smell The Da.I.S.Y., including the siren sound from Dilla's Donuts, and many lyrics from 3 Feet High and Rising, De La's critically acclaimed debut album. Those unfamiliar with both artists may have even more fun, as this will all seem new, and there are samples that almost anyone would recognize throughout. The outro of "Taking The Train" contains a neat little flip of Lil Wayne's "Go DJ" (into "Go JD"), "Leave Your Cares Behind" ends with a clip from the Spongebob theme song, and the last track, "Marvin Jaye," is basically a remix of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing."
Though this may not be a particularly groundbreaking release, Smell The Da.I.S.Y. is a positive, heartfelt tribute to De La's old collaborator, and hip hop legend, J Dilla. It's also for a good cause. The mixtape's SoundCloud Page includes a link to PayPal, with the heading "Donations For Dilla." All proceeds from this link will go to the J Dilla Foundation, a charity founded by Dilla's mother that aims to "fund inner-city music programs, and provide scholarships to schools that have progressive music curricula."
Stay tuned for more releases from De La Soul this year, including a mixtape produced by DJ Premier & Pete Rock called Premiem Soul On The Rocks, and a studio album entitled You’re Welcome. Keep up with their output right here on Zumic.