Plug 1 and Plug 2 Present First Serve
First of all, relax – De La Soul are not splitting up, in fact there’s a new album in the pipeline. Rather than seeing First Serve as two musicians from an influential hip hop group you can look at it in another way.
As such First Serve is the brainchild of two French producers, Chokolate and Kahlid, and Plug 1 & 2 are guests with a VERY heavy presence. In fact the album bears a lot of similarities to De La Soul albums. There’s an underlying theme that runs through the tracks, plus the usual bunch of skits and interludes which every DLS fan knows are essential to their albums.
With some very few exceptions, a lot of hip hop groups are adopting the more rough Odd Future template, so for an old skool fan like me its very pleasing to listen to big beats, weird non-violent lyrics and samples that only can be discovered by someone who spends hours looking through record bargain bins. More importantly there’s a sunny vibe all throughout, and that’s something a bit hard to come across.
Although First Serve does seem like a dumb fun album – and trust me, it is now and then – it does have a certain eclecticism that makes it utterly charming and adds depth. Whether its the disco hop bounce of Must be the Music, the full on party dancefloor filler Move ‘em in, Move ‘em out, or the honky tonk blues of The Book of Life, there is something for everyone, and every track is sequenced so well that FS is a total album experience which should be heard from start to finish to truly appreciate.
For a guy who is a bit disillusioned with the direction that most hip hop records are taking, its pleasing that out there some guys appreciate the beats and rhymes of yore. I like a happy album that’s done cleverly, and at that First Serve do the job perfectly.