Whether First Serve is a spicy examination of the rap industry or simply a way for De La to experiment and have a little fun...
Playing fledgling MCs Deen and Jacob, Pos and Dave take us back to their humble beginnings learning their trade in mum's basement. Pushin' Aside, Pushin' Along and The Work see the duo dealing with parents who just don't understand while the darker Small Disasters find them wallowing in self-doubt, questioning if they will ever get over it. Finally getting signed to a label, the ensuing celebration leads to the album's brightest moments; the soulful, horn-ful We Made It is the dopest thing De La have done in years, while first single, the reggae-disco bounce of Must B The Music, not only heralds Deen and Jacob blowing up but De La creating something they may have never gotten away with on a 'regular' album.
Inevitably, the group develop beef and break up, soundtracked by harder, bluesy beats before reuniting as older, wiser more savvy individuals, the EPMD reference hardly required. Whether First Serve is a spicy examination of the rap industry or simply a way for De La to experiment and have a little fun, it is an entertaining though somewhat inconsistent set that will definitely hold us over until that desperately needed eighth album arrives.
Album Of The Week goes to Jamie xx's In Colour, Ben Lee has a new release and SOAK releases her debut in This Week's Releases.