In Philly, la la will always mean I love you. “La La” refers to the classic “La La (Means I Love You)”, the very first hit that the Philly soul group The Delfonics had in 1968. It’s been many years since William Hart, lead singer of The Delfonics recorded an album. However, a new record on Wax Poetics, “Presented” by Adrian Younge, has been released that sounds like it was recorded back in the late Sixties, except it’s very 21st Century. Frannie Kelly of NPR Music writes has this to say about: Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics.
If you listen to hip-hop, you’re listening to The Delfonics — a singing group from Philadelphia whose members are now in their 80s. When Lauryn Hill sings the hook in Nas’ “If I Ruled the World,” she’s lifting a couple lines from their 1972 song “Walk Right Up to the Sun.” Her group, The Fugees, reworked The Delfonics’ “Ready Or Not, Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love)” on The Score. Ghostface asked The Delfonics’ William Hart to sing backup on his debut album, in “After the Smoke Is Clear,” and years later he rhymed over the entirety of “La La (Means I Love You)” in a song called “Holla.” Biggie, Missy Elliott, Gang Starr and Nicki Minaj have sampled the group’s songs.
Tapping the veins of The Delfonics’ emotive ballads has made for intensely dramatic tracks. Hart sings most often in the thin air of his upper register and, when his voice has been paired with gruff rappers telling scary stories, the effect is unnerving and memorable. Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics is 13 new songs written by producer Adrian Younge and William Hart and recorded with Younge’s band. Their cross-generational link results in songs that capture the relationship between The Delfonics’ music and hip-hop — songs that get under your skin and stay there.
Listen to the album in its entirety here.
Purchased the album here.