My breaf never smells wack, I eat a watermelon tic tac…

I just had to write on De La Soul is Dead again so I could use that title. Seriously, the album is incredibly solid. And it’s 14 years old. Crikey. But it starts out so weak. “Oodles of O’s,” “Talkin’ Bout Hey Love,” “Peas Porridge”? It’s track 7 (because of three skits) before the party gets pumping. “A Rollerskating Jam Named ‘Saturdays'” is perhaps the best marriage of disco and hip hop since “Rapper’s Delight.” Samples from “Grease” and “Saturdays in the Park”? From that point, the record just rocks.

“Bitties in the BK Lounge” was one of those that had to grow on me because of it’s disjointed structure. Each member of DLS takes a verse but each verse is a completely different song. But it’s awesomely funny.

Young girl, won’t you take my order?
Yeah, but right now I’m sorta busy.
Can’t you see I’m trying to put this Band Aid on my finger?

That’s in the first verse. The second verse is a brief rap battle between a Burger King employee and an obnoxious customer. And it’s just as funny.

“My Brother’s a Basehead” takes samples from “The Game of Love” and some Doors’ song that I’m not going to concentrate on long enough to recognize. But it just bangs along. They don’t slow down after that. “Let, Let Me In” and “Afro Connections at a Hi 5” follow “Basehead” with more catchy, head-bobbing tunes.

“Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa” is just fine songwriting. It tells the story of a social worker who was abusing his daughter until she pulled a gun on him at Macy’s on the day he was playing Santa. It’s smart and catchy and emotional in a way that few rap songs have ever been.

You gotta work the FF button a little near the end, but “Not Over Till the Fat Lady Plays the Demo,” “Ring Ring Ring,” “Shwingalokate,” “Fanatic of the B Word” all rock. And the finale “Keepin’ The Faith” is just unbelievable. Why it never became their hit single that made them all the money they’d ever need is a mystery.

Then there’s the little inside jokes. Like the samples that keep appearing from Slick Rick’s “La Di Da Di” and the way so many songs mention the main joke of “Ring Ring Ring.”

So genius.