De La Soul Does 45-Minute Nike Song

What do you call a 45-minute track? An album? A song? An accomplishment? For De La Soul, it's just business as usual. The hip-hop trio, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its debut, 3 Feet High and Rising, contributed a piece to the Nike+ Original Run Series in collaboration with mash-up duo Flosstradamus.

Kelvin Mercer (Posdnuos) didn't seem too distressed about the different format in his interview with Black Book. "Honestly, it really wasn't too different, because we've always been a group that made albums that connected as a whole," Mercer says. "We never looked at a song as an individual song. When we took on the challenge it was like, whoa, we've got to make an album that runs only up to 45 minutes, and has all these peaks and valleys, which was cool to do."

As one might figure, the album, called Are You In?, was designed to flow to the workout regiment of a runner. Says Mercer, "They told us to do what we needed do, put our normal creativity into it, and when we came back with a bunch of tracks, they had runners run to it and pick out the tracks they really felt motivated them, and were good for them to cool down to. We used those as core tracks, and then started building all the bridges around the tracks to create a great journey."

This isn't the first time the group has worked with Nike. The hip-hop pioneers also designed a couple pairs of Nike Dunks in the past.

For those wondering about a proper album, De La Soul was working on it before Nike asked if they'd participate in this project. Mercer says the group will let Are You In? play out before dropping the new record later this year. A 20th anniversary tour for 3 Feet is also in order.

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De La Soul on MySpace

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