De La Soul with Chin Injeti in Vancouver (Live) [Review]
Vancouver, B.C. – It was the beginning of a rowdy night in Vancouver as De La Soul prepared to enter the stage. The Long Island trio had come straight from the Rifflandia festival in Victoria, and their performance was highly anticipated across the board. As DJ Seko brought out the golden era flavors, the Commodore Ballroom quickly filled up with enthusiastic fans: they would not be disappointed.
Getting things started was our own Chin Injeti, performing with complete band – all looking lovely and sounding even better. Chin has the remarkable ability to include the crowd in his compositions, making them the chorus to his leading man. The stage comes alive as his mouth makes the beat and melody alike, his fingers plucking out the basslines. One could watch Chin forever, but transitions are inevitable and soon it was time for Plugs One Two and Three to bring their legendary sound to our arena.
De La Soul opened up with a tease; strains of “The Grind Date” started to come in and out, but the trio waited until the crowd was appropriately riled up before really launching into the 2004 banger. They followed this up with a mixed-up “Potholes in my Lawn” from 3 Feet High and Rising; by this time the sold-out Commodore was packed with bodies dancing, cheering, and moreover enjoying the music they’d grown up on.
“Much More” followed, in tribute to its producer Dilla – Trugoy and Posdnuos rapped all the old faves, owning the stage, while Maseo kept things grounded on the ones and twos. Well, almost. In a burst of brilliance, the mild-mannered DJ picked up a mic and joined his crew for a verse on a variation of “The Bizness”… for a guy who’s usually behind the tables, the guy has some pretty major stage presence, not to mention dance moves.
The crowd ate it up from beginning to end, especially the day-appropriate “Saturday” and the always amazing “Me Myself and I.” “Rock Co Cane” and “Oooh” made an appearance, and of course “Oodles of O’s.” Within all those classics, the crew brought out an incredible new number as well, giving us a taste of things to come: a fist pumper with all the old boom bap elements that make De La so much fun – the tailor-made crowd participation chorus that we are all sure to know and yell the next time these favourite sons come to town. And then “Stakes is High,” a highlight that left the crowd begging for more: it was only with resistance that they filed back onto Granville Street and into the chaos of the night.
Written by Amalia Judith and Natch Crumbly for HipHopCanada
Photography by Tyler Simpson for HipHopCanada