Soul, Funk, R&B, & Hip-Hop

De La Soul

When: April 1-2, 8 & 10 p.m. 2011

It's not often that a hip-hop group can survive as long as De La Soul and not ever veer into cheese-rap or the reality show world. Maybe it's the trio's hippie origins (a label it vehemently disputes), or its brilliant use of old soul samples - like a loop cribbed from The Commodore's "High on Sunshine" - or its gift for neologisms. It's thanks to emcees Posdnuos (aka Kelvin Mercer), Trugoy (aka David Jude Jolicoeur), and P.A. Pasemaster Mase (aka Vincent Mason) that words like "buddy" (shorthand for "body," or euphemism for "paramour") slipped into the hip-hop lexicon. They wrote intelligently - albeit obliquely - about hookups, gender politics, Nancy Reagan's Just Say No campaign, materialism, and the disparities of urban life. While the emcees enjoy having in-jokes and heavily coded lyrics, they always ground their music in common-man themes. No wonder the group boasts such incredible staying power, even without mainstream radio play. De La Soul performs at San Francisco Yoshi's (1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco) on Friday and Saturday, April 1-2. 8 & 10 p.m., $45. Yoshis.com

Rachel Swan

Price: $45

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