Say It's Your Birthday: De La Soul's Trugoy The Dove

Latest De La Soul album is 'Stakes Is High'.

Trugoy the Dove (ne David Jolicoeur), one of the leaders

of the ground-breaking hip-hop bands De La Soul, was born today in 1968 in

Brooklyn, N.Y. De La Soul, along with bands such as Tribe Called Quest, were

instrumental in bringing rap around from the hyped-up macho braggadocio and

pumped-up gangsterism to a kinder, gentler, rap, as likely to sample Steely Dan

as James Brown. Trugoy, along with Posdnous and P.A. Pacemaster Mase grew up in

suburban Brooklyn, and they have explained their upbeat, socially conscious,

quasi-hippie style as reflecting their upbringing much as gangsta rappers claim

that their rhymes reflect their social realities. De La Soul signed with Tommy

Boy records on the strength of their first single, "Plug Tunin'." Their debut

album, 1989's 3 Feet High and Rising spoofed a game show and was

heralded as beginning a new era in rap. 3 Feet High and Rising hit #24

on the pop charts in 1989, and also briefly brought the Turtles back into

public consciousness, as the long-defunct band sued De La Soul for sampling

1968's "You Showed Me" on "Transmitting Live From Mars." Following their debut,

De La Soul, along with Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifah, The Jungle Brothers,

Monie Love, and Black Sheep formed a loose "Native Tongues" alliance of

positive rappers. De La Soul's follow-up, 1991's De La Soul is Dead, was

widely perceived as an answer to criticisms of their "softness," featuring

songs about drug abuse, incest, and urban decay. The album, however, was met

with mixed reviews, and when the band returned to their trademark, quirky style

on '93's Buhloone Mind State they were once again hailed as hip-hop

groundbreakers. This year's Stakes Is High was also widely greeted as a

success. Other birthdays: Tyler Stewart of Barenaked Ladies; American Breed's

Kevin Murphy (1943); the Eagles' Don Felder (1947); Motorhead's Phil "Philthy

Animal" Taylor (1954); and Betty Wright (1953). --Seth Mnookin

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