The forthcoming album teaser track “Pushin’ Aside, Pushin’ Along” from New York natives First Serve (produced by De La Soul’s Plug 1 & Plug 2) is resplendent in staccato ivories, sumptuous bass hooks, spectacular vernacular and classic flow from back in the day. Those with your fingers on the pulse will recall the track featuring on “The Goon Time Mixtape“, for those who didn’t catch that, the idiosyncratic flow from Plug 1 and Plug 2 will instantly render an early 90’s backdrop in your mind. Featuring the sonic engineering of acclaimed Parisian production team 2 & 4 (aka Chokolate & Khalid), this joint regales the tale of two aspirational young men with amusing monikers, Jacob “Pop Life” Barrow and Deen Whitter, who begin in a humble Queens basement struggling to start their musical career. The album will, by and large, document the battles they face along the way to the release of their debut single, “Make It Big” and it’s evident that their hard work and persistence finally pays off. Staccato ivories, a helium tweaked vocal loop accompanied by gospel backing singing through the chorus, underpinned by a tight bass and drum groove that is pure hip hop. We think they even managed to sneak some Prince-esque guitar noodling during the final verse. The track finishes with an amusing skit and a rare glimpse of profanity.
A video for “Must Bee The Music” has also been released on YouTube and the like, which takes place in an animated Parisian setting. This track sits in contrast to “Pushin’ Aside, Pushin’ Along” insofar as it is a marked departure from the era between “3 Feet And Rising” and “Stakes Is High”. Rich disco rhythms take the place of Prince Paul’s unique beat productions of yester-year. Must Bee The Music enjoys pop sensibilities abound, intelligent and uplifting melodic progressions, four on the floor drums, and lyrical exhortations for peace love and harmony that conform to the De La code of ethics. The form very much informs the content and visa-versa. To that extent, Plug 1 and 2 remain true to their established form. Fans of Posdnuos and Trugoy will be sated with what we’ve heard so far, but if you are expecting a mere repetition of the vintage De La Soul period, then we think you will be disappointed. But then that really isn’t the intent with this project, so no one ought to be looking for recycled beats anyway. The album is due to drop in April and we’ll have more on this nearer the time, but this preview should wet your appetite for the time being.