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Mixtape Release; No Rating Given

     Originally released as a slim-line tour only mix CD, word caught on quickly about De La Soul’s Impossible Mission release, a collection of unreleased tracks from the past 12 years. The CD was given proper treatment by Traffic Distribution, encased in a beautiful digipak for the Japanese audience. So is this essentially another De La album, or stuff that would have better been left on the cutting room floor? 

     Impossible Mission has its moments, and the fun of it is trying to figure out what era the songs included herein were recorded in. At times, host Posdnuos will straight up tell you that the song was a leftover from a past De La LP’s recording sessions, other times you are left to figure it out yourself. “What The Fuck #1 (De La Soul’s Poster)” and “What The Fuck #3 (De La Slow)” are VINTAGE De La, taken from the 3 Feet High and Rising and De La Soul Is Dead sessions, however both songs are dissed by the band before they can finish. Instead, on “What The Fuck #2 (Mindstate)”, Pos reveals a lousy leftover from Buhloone Mindstate that they made “just to fuck with Tommy Boy’s heads”, but ends up admitting he thinks the song is actually pretty dope. Go figure. Also included here is more recent material that was never used, such as the EPMD-inspired, J. Dilla produced, and Slum Village jacked “Relax” – which almost sounds a bit too G-Funked out for the AOI crew. Also included here is “Go Out And Get It”, complete with Bonz Malone intro; obviously a leftover from The Grind Date. 

     De La also puts a new spin on some old favorites, such as freestyles over Diamond’s “That’s That Shit” and Common’s “The Corner”, but neither joint out does the original. Notably creative here is “You Got It”, a re-imagining of Bobby Byrd or Eric B. & Rakim’s “I Know You Got Soul”, which cleverly inserts Bobby’s vocals into the verses. This one will definitely win over the classic hip-hop fans. 

      Impossible Mission is not without new material. The album opens with the excellent “Live @ The Dugout ‘87″, which recreates the sound of a basement party freestyle, over a ridiculously raw beat. The Supa Dave West produced “Respect” is another standout track; as is the moody “Freedom Train”, which adopts a Premier-esque track. However, “Voodoo Circus” (prod. Supa Dave West) and “Reverse Your Steps” (prod. Oh No) pack decent beats, but De La seem to be on a road to nowhere with stream-of-consciousness style flows. 

     Impossible Mission is something for the hardcore De La fans; the ones that have been listening to De La since the 90′s (or even the 80′s, for that matter). This won’t exactly win anyone over that has never heard a De La record, but is essential for completists.

  Mixtape D.L.
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