Live At Tramps NYC 1996

Posdnuos and Trugoy flex lyrically, but the sound is wanting on this live disc standing on the verge of delivering their shaky career-crisis album, Stakes Is High, De La Soul were nonetheless in prime form on this May night in 1996. Posdnuos and Trugoy show off an assertive, telepathic mike interplay that was notoriously missing from the group's earlier shows. Unfortunately, this is mitigated by a wack live mix; choice jams such as "Breakadawn" arrive over distant drum tracks. In a typically contrary mood, De La (and guest Mos Def) preface a brief, energetic rendition of the runaway hit "Me Myself and I" by chanting, "We hate this song!" Common also guests, bringing the Ice Cube dis "The Bitch in Yoo," although his righteous posture is undermined by some homophobic lyrics on "The Bizness." Live serves as further proof of De La's doctorate-level microphone mathematics, but its musical magic is often muffled, making it an inessential curio.

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