By no means have De la Soul lost the dada carnival spirit that spotlighted them in the late '80s, but Posdnuos, Trugoy the Dove and Maseo are now decidedly less gigglesome. Still working rhymes of startling ingenuity, they've dropped between-song shtick in favor of a focus that clarifies their power. And they take on the hard stuff: machismo, idiot sex, overcompensating gangsta posing. "Fuck being hard, Posdnuos is complicated" is the battle cry — the tough choice for smart over swagger. Musically, Buhloone Mind State raises the stakes; it gets to something rap seldom achieves — a truly gorgeous groove.
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