This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
I’ll say this for De La Soul; they still know how to keep you off-balance.
After the daisy-petal positivity and sampledelic whimsy of their early albums, the veteran trio returned last year with Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump, a perplexingly serious, hard-hitting slab of streetcorner politics and anger. Now, on Bionix — the second instalment of the AOI trilogy — the trio of Maseo, Posdnous and Dave change it up again. Returning from the dark side, the trio craft playful melodies, bouncier beats and sillier samples (like the snippet of Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmas Time that anchors Simply) that balance their lyrics — dominated by sincere, soulful sermons and social commentary on everythingn from body image (Baby Phat) and religion (Rev. Do Good) to drugs (Peer Pressure) and pornography (Pawn Star). It doesn’t match the playful perfection of 3 Feet High and Rising — not that anything really could — but it does whet your whistle for AOI Part 3.