De La Soul’s de facto “comeback” has been bittersweet; while the group’s groundbreaking catalog has finally come to streaming platforms, it only did so after one member of the trio, Trugoy The Dove, died at the age of just 54 years old.
However, the remaining members, Posdnous and Maseo, are trucking along as best they can. They stopped by The Tonight Show this week, where they took the stage with the band to perform one of their signature songs, “Stakes Is High,” with The Roots. Black Thought helped fill the void left by Dave’s passing, rapping his verses with perfect chemistry alongside Pos — an unsurprising development, considering the impact “Stakes Is High” has had on hip-hop. Who doesn’t know those iconic rhymes?
Ahead of the performance, house band leader Questlove gave De La some flowers, telling them how much they influenced The Roots. “For the first time, we just saw, like, ourselves,” he said. “This is how the group bonded, Tariq [Black Thought] and I. We saw three friends just having fun with each other, practical jokes and all that stuff, and we had never seen that in hip-hop before.”
Meanwhile, De La’s entree to the streaming world has been pretty successful; their game-changing debut, 3 Feet High And Rising, re-entered the Billboard 200 with a new peak of No. 15.
Watch De La Soul and The Roots perform the classic “Stakes Is High” above.