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Product Summary
AOI: Bionix

De La Soul
Tommy Boy Records 
Guide Rating - 
Pros  •  Top-notch production and head-nodding beats
•  The album's skits are actually funny
•  Track 14, Track 16 plus the rest of the album 
Cons  • Absolutely none
The Bottom Line - Bionix is well worth the wait. Cop it.

Track Listing 
  1. Intro 
2. Bionix 
3. Baby Phat - (featuring Devin The Dude/Elizabeth "Yummy" Bingham) 
4. Simply 
5. Simply Havin 
6. Held Down - (featuring Cee-Lo) 
7. Rev. Do Good #1 
8. Watch Out 
9. Special 
10. Rev. Do Good #2 
11. Sauce, The 
12. Am I Worth You? - (featuring Glenn Lewis) 
13. Pawn Star 
14. What We Do (For Love) - (featuring Slick Rick) 
15. Rev. Do Good #3 
16. Peer Pressure - (featuring B-Real) 
17. It's American 
18. Trying People 
Guide Review 
De La Soul's sixth album, AOI: Bionix is the second volume in the hip-hop trio's Art Official Intelligence trilogy. The group's mission - to release three albums in as many years - kicked off with the release of last year's AOI: Mosaic Thump, an album that debuted in the Top Ten and earned a Grammy nomination. Considering the success of ...Thump, one would expect the second go-round to be as strong, but I got news for you; this outing featuring production help from Jay Dee (Slum Village), Dave West, Megahertz, and Kev Brown plus bomb guest appearances from Slick Rick, B-Real, Cee-Lo and Periquo Fernandez ups the ante.

Featuring flawless production, a more aggressive lyrical approach and crazy-hypnotic beats Bionix kicks off with the title track; a joint so New York I just wanted to pack my bags again and head on back home. The album's first release, "Baby Phat" is a sweet, creamy hook surrounded by deceptively laid back lyric delivery all laced through with a phat-ass track. De La's undeniable comedic artistry is evident in the "Rev. Do Good" skits 1 - 3 and "Pawn Star"; a comically freaky track strangely reminiscent of Kool Keith. The pot anthem "Peer Pressure" featuring Cypress Hill's acid voiced B-Real (who else?) slaps you repeatedly with an up-tempo track with superb vocal delivery. The soulful thought-provoking "Held Down"  unites down-home funk, Goodie Mob's Cee-Lo and a straight-up gospel choir while the joint "Trying People" offers a retrospective call for social change featuring eerily relevant insight such as "the sky above your head ain't safe nomore". Other gems include "What We Do For Love" featuring the legendary rula Slick Rick flowing with a sick verse and an unforgettable hook.

It's the inexhaustible ability to entertain, make heads nod and progressively stay true to hip-hop that guarantees hip-hop pioneers De La Soul will remain in the rap pantheon. Track 18 ends with the announcement "Operation complete. Preparing for installment three." We'll be waiting. 'nuf said.

Ifè Oshun

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