ARTIST: De La Soul
TITLE: 3 Feet High and Rising
YEAR RELEASED: 1989
CHART ACTION: #24 US, #1 US R&B, #13 UK
SINGLES: Plug Tunin’, Potholes in My Lawn (#22 US Rap), Me Myself and I (#34 US, #1 US R&B, #1 US Rap, #1 US Dance, #22 UK), Say No Go (#32 US R&B, #11 US Rap, #3 US Dance, #18 UK), Eye Know (#14 UK), The Magic Number (#7 UK), Buddy (#18 US R&B, #2 US Rap, #27 US Dance)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: That’s a lot of singles up there that got airplay.
LINEUP: Posdunos, Trugoy the Dove, Maseo. Q-Tip and the Jungle Brothers guested.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Groundbreaking hip-hop that went against the gangsta rap wave with its message of positivity, its production and its use of unconventional samples.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Most of this record is an out-and-out creative masterpiece. Blending sounds, samples, lyrics, beats and raps that were against the gangsta grain, De La Soul and producer Prince Paul created an absolute sound experience that always reveals new, hidden gems on every listen.
The trio created rhymes with a positive message, almost like hippies with their D.A.I.S.Y age motifs (which stood for Da Inner Sound Y’all). But what also was important was how everything was sewn together, and the fact that it was very listenable for almost every occasion.
The ONE thing I have to criticize it for is the invention of the rap-album skit, which thankfully only appears in a few places as something to tie everything together. Still, the skits don’t really work for me.
This album has influenced a lot of hip-hop artists in the 90’s and beyond. Without this album, it’s hard to imagine jazz rap, alternative hip hop, and other similar styles.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: In 2010, the Library of Congress added this record to the National Recording Registry.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, an entire bonus disk to outtakes and re-mixes was available in 2001.
GRADE: A: Revolutionary record only brought down by a few skits.