De La Soul: Eye Know

David Jolicoeur, who performed as Trugoy the Dove with seminal hip-hop group De La Soul, has sadly passed away at 54 years old. Rapping in a leisurely, thoughtful and soft-spoken manner, Trugoy played a crucial role in what would become “alternative rap,” and hip-hop culture as a whole. In 1988, high schoolers Jolicoeur, Vincent Manson (aka Pasemaster Mase or Maseo) and Kelvin Mercer (aka Posdnuos) created De La Soul and released their debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, in 1989. Brimming with hippie-tinged lyrics, countless samples and spirited skits, the record cemented the trio as pioneers of the genre. From the album, “Eye Know” encapsulates De La Soul’s early style, with diverse samples (from Steely Dan, Lee Dorsey, The Mad Lads, Sly & the Family Stone and Otis Redding), clever and playful lyrics, and an effortless exuberance that the trio maintained over three decades together.