By normal De La Soul standards Smell The DA.I.S.Y. is an average product. It’s mostly classic De La verses laid out casually over J-Dilla beats. That’s not to say it’s a complete wash, but it’s clear that the real star of the show here is Dilla, no question about it.
Songs like “Vocabulary Spills” is a prime example. It’s the same verse as found on the “The Bizness” (sans Common), but delivered in an uber-casual manner. It’s not laziness so much as it is a thoughtful kowtow to Dilla, an opportunity for listeners to dip their eardrums in the liquid gold beat brewing underneath: [LISTEN]
The nuances of Dilla’s beats are what makes them so great. Packed into dark corners are layers of samples with just enough obscurity to defy the understood physics of hip hop production. He’s often described as a clairvoyant or a genius even an alien, and this is just another example of his greatness.
Hearing De La rap over his beats is undeniably sentimental and nostalgic like a campfire where all can gather in remembrance. And although the outpouring of love can be a bit overstated at times coming from the mind of De La Soul it sounds justifiably right.
Smell The DA.I.S.Y. isn’t what you would call top-shelf De La material. They just coast through most songs allowing the beat to take center stage. But it does serve a couple different purposes. There’s the tribute element, which is obvious from the jump, and then the promotional storm that comes with it.
It’ll send ripples through the hip-hop community, which’ll help promote De La’s forthcoming projects – an EP Preemium Soul on the Rocks with Pete Rock and DJ Premier, and their full length You’re Welcome. Smell The DA.I.S.Y. is simply the delectable appetizer that’ll stimulate the hunger bug before the main course arrives.