DJ Shadow, the influential hip-hop producer behind the iconic instrumental album Endtroducing, reemerged on Wednesday morning with a De La Soul-featuring new track.
“Rocket Fuel” harkens back to the playful instrumentation of hip-hop’s early days; textured vocal samples reflect Grandmaster Flash’s call-and-response crowd work, while the layered horns and turntabling make De La Soul’s traded bars feel right at home. Speaking of, the trio sound particularly locked in here, excitably sharing verses over Shadow’s pristine production.
Shadow was pretty stoked to work with De La Soul. Per a press release, here’s what he has to say about the track:
It’s been awhile since my last album The Mountain Will Fall, and the corresponding tour … and since the tour ended, I’ve been mostly silent. This is because I’ve been focused and working on a ton of music. I usually try to avoid hyperbole, and I’m not super-comfortable hyping up my own stuff, but things are about to get pretty exciting. My heroes De La Soul were kind enough to join me on the debut single, “Rocket Fuel,” and the collab encapsulates so much of what I love about hip-hop … energy, beats and fun.
“Rocket Fuel” is the first cut from Shadow’s still-untitled new record that’s due out sometime later this year. It’ll also feature on the Madden NFL 20 playlist, out later today, July 24. Listen to “Rocket Fuel” below, plus a 1996 De La Soul performance from the Paste archives, get a closer look at the “Rocket Fuel” single art further down, then revisit our De La Soul-topped list of the best albums of 1989 here.
”Rocket Fuel” Single Art: