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5th December 2011

Album: De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising (1989)

A record that ultimately changed the face of rap as we knew it.

De La Soul
3 Feet High and Rising
Released 1989
Tommy Boy Music
5 stars

De La Soul bucked the trend in 1989 with their debut release 3 Feet High and Rising, a record that ultimately changed the face of rap as we knew it. The hip hop scene was becoming an egocentric, violent and politically motivated minefield, in which feel-good beats and messages of peace had no place.  Fortunately though, Posdunous, Trugoy and Mase didn’t care too much for guns, bitches and bling.

Instead, they preached about the ‘D.A.I.S.Y Age’, animals and having a good time.  Their rhymes reflect an inventive, intelligent mindset, which when coupled with the wizardry of Prince Paul in the production process, is expressed in all its funkadelic glory.  Classics such as ‘The Magic Number’ and ‘Eye Know’ stand out immediately, but if you just press play and take an hour to indulge yourself, you’ll feel a lot happier afterwards.  Samples are scattered throughout to create a flow that eases the journey through tracks like ‘Change in Speak’, ‘Say No Go’ and ‘Plug Tunin’.  Not only do the skits complement the care-free nature of the album, they are actually pretty funny as well.  Then we get to ‘Me Myself and I’.  Obviously, it is a staple banger but it also reveals the importance of ‘being an individual’, a message that everybody should take heed of, especially these days.

You get the feeling that all three members are confident in themselves and just to want to have fun.  There’s no point in being boring is there. This is what makes 3 Feet High and Rising such a good, light-hearted album. It discusses everything from body odour (‘A Little Bit Of Soap’) to losing your virginity (‘Jennifer Taught Me’) but every discussion is completely sincere.  Even I, some skinny, white guy who lives half way across the world, can relate to what De La Soul were talking about.

De La Soul – Say No Go

De La Soul – The Magic Number

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