Dave Chappelle, hip-hop legends celebrate De La Soul in New York as catalog premieres on streaming platforms

Fans and hip-hop legends gathered for "The D.A.I.S.Y. Experience" to celebrate De La Soul's music hitting streaming platforms and honoring the group's recently departed co-founder, Dave "Trugoy the Dove" Jolicoeur.

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It was a bittersweet moment Thursday night at New York’s Webster Hall as an intimate contingent of hip-hop fans gathered to celebrate De La Soul’s catalog premiering on Friday on digital streaming platforms (DSP).

There was high anticipation following the news of the legendary hip-hop trio’s music hitting DSPs for the first time. However, the celebration comes with a tinge of sadness since one of De La Soul’s founding members, Dave “Trugoy the Dove” Jolicoeur, died on Feb. 12.

The lower Manhattan concert hall hosted “The D.A.I.S.Y. Experience,” a free but limited, immersive event preceding De La Soul’s music hitting Amazon Music and Spotify. The experience also celebrated Jolicoeur’s life.

D.A.I.S.Y. is an acronym for “Da Inner Soul, Y’all,” a play on the flower child hippie aesthetic of their 1989 debut album, “3 Feet High and Rising.”

Queen Latifah and Dave Chappelle attend De La Soul’s The D.A.I.S.Y. Experience, produced in conjunction with Amazon Music, at Webster Hall on March 2, 2023, in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Amazon)

The venue featured decorations of daisies, group pictures, album covers, merchandise, portraits of Jolicoeur, and a video booth in the lobby. Up the stairs, adorned with decorations of daisies, was the concert hall’s main event. On stage, which featured giant flower pots of orange daisies, The Originals, a group of DJs, played music for the attendees.

The Originals comprised numerous big-name DJs who played music for the fans all night including D-Nice, Rich Medina, Stretch Armstrong, and DJ Clark Kent. Classics like Public Enemy’s “Bring the Noise,” Eric B. and Rakim’s “Follow the Leader,” and Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth’s “They Reminisce Over You” were played all evening.

Some of hip-hop’s elite creatives intermingled with the lucky few hundred fans. Chuck D, Roots frontman Black Thought, Vin Rock, DJ Kay Gee of Naughty By Nature, Busta Rhymes, and DJ Premier were just a few of the luminaries on hand to celebrate the moments. The atmosphere was the vibe of a class reunion, with the legends hugging and laughing together while talking with eager fans and taking photos.

As the night continued, many of the hip-hop acts gathered on stage with The Originals to join De La Soul’s surviving members, Kelvin “Posdnuos” Mercer and Vincent “DJ Maseo” Mason Jr.

Some attendees even rapped along to their songs as they played, including Talib Kweli, and Queen Latifah and Monie Love who rapped to “Ladies First.”

D-Nice, DJ Clark Kent, Tony Touch and Rich Medina perform onstage at De La Soul’s The D.A.I.S.Y. Experience, produced in conjunction with Amazon Music, at Webster Hall on March 2, 2023, in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Amazon)

Also on hand was Dave Chappelle. The Grammy-winning comic is a self-professed hip-hop fanatic who featured De La Soul on his hit sketch comedy series, “Chappelle’s Show,” in the early 2000s. Chappelle thanked Mercer and Mason, and led the crowd in a countdown to midnight when De La Soul’s music became available on DSPs. At the stroke of midnight, multicolored daisy-shaped balloons were dropped on the audience.

Fans can now stream De La Soul’s first six albums; “3 Feet High and Rising (1989),” “De La Soul is Dead (1991),” “Buhloone Mindstate (1993),” “Stakes is High (1996),” “Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump (2000),” and “AOI: Bionix (2001).” Their catalog features classic songs like “Plug Tunin’,” “Me, Myself & I,” “A Roller Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays,'” “Breakadawn,” and “Stakes is High.”

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