Like most in hip-hop's first generation, the members of De La Soul (Dave, Posdnuos, and Maseo) probably grew up watching '70s TV shows The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.

Like most in hip-hop's first generation, the members of De La Soul (Dave, Posdnuos, and Maseo) probably grew up watching '70s TV shows The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. That would explain the subtitle of the second installment of the act's Art Official Intelligence trilogy. With the tag line, "better, stronger, (and) faster," the 18-track set marks the trio's most complete effort since 1996's Stakes Is High. Lead single "Baby Phat," featuring Devin the Dude and Elizabeth "Yummy" Bingham, is a radio-ready ditty that should have bodies of all sizes moving on the dancefloor. De La spreads love on tracks like "Am I Worth You?," featuring Glenn Lewis, and the R&B-friendly "Special." The trio even gets spiritual, teaming with Cee-Lo on the moving "Held Down." Built to near perfection, AOI:Bionix easily dispels the myth that sequels always disappoint.—RH

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print