To celebrate the release of De La Soul‘s long-awaited, crowd-funded LP And the Anonymous Nobody on Friday , the hip-hop legends premiered their 33-minute short film We’re Still Here (now)… a documentary about nobody.
We’re Still Here (now)… tracks the creation of the album from the initial Kickstarter announcement to the midway point listening party to the fine-tuning of the LP. In one scene, De La Soul and their distributors for the LP congregated to debate which artist should feature on “Lord Intended”; the Darkness’ Justin Hawkins ultimately scored the gig.
In the opening, De La Soul reveal that the album was conceived in part as an exercise to avoid sampling, which in turn meant not having to deal with clearances and sampling lawyers. “We invited a host of musicians to jam, and the jam sessions go on like maybe over 200 hours,” a De La Soul member says in voiceover. “We recorded this thing for like years; what we’re doing now is going back and farming that recording [to get] samples from, and then create new music.”
We’re Still Here (now)… is also packed with plenty of live footage, including one show where they berate someone in the front of the audience for holding up a phone instead of “putting your hands up.”
The documentary features interviews about De La Soul’s impact with people like Common, frequent collaborator Damon Albarn, Tommy Boy Records founder Thomas Silverman, who says that although hip-hop was largely an American art form in the Nineties, De La Soul were among the few rap groups the label pushed overseas, an investment that paid off long-term. Albarn and De La Soul also go in-depth about the Anonymous Nobody track “Here in After.”