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De La Soul. Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
Formed in 1985, three-man jazz-rap group De La Soul has been dubbed "the hippies of hip-hop." Their debut album Three Feet High and Rising was a critical success. De La Soul continues to pen songs without gangsta rap influence, focusing instead on the use of samples, jazz vamps and wordplay.
Consisting of Kelvin Mercer, aka Pos, Posdnuos and Plug One; David Jude Jolicoeur, aka Trugoy, Trugoy the Dove and Plug Two; and Vincent Mason, aka Pasemaster Mase, Maseo and Plug Three, the male trio began recording at the same time as Queen Latifah, Monie Love, and A Tribe Called Quest. De La Soul hails from Long Island, NY.
This year, they were featured on the new Gorillaz single "Feel Good Inc." Their most recent album is 2004's The Grind Date. (This interview originally aired Oct. 5, 2000.)