March 3rd – De La Soul release their classic debut album “3 Feet High And Rising” on Tommy Boy Records, on this day in 1989.
The album, considered one of the finest in hip-hop history, was praised by fans and critics alike.
Along with producer Prince Paul, the group crafted a sonic landscape of sampled songs, sounds and snippets unheard of before in the hip-hop genre. Whereas most hip-hop producers usually sampled either James Brown or P-Funk at that point, De La and producer Paul were borrowing from recordings by an unlikely host of artists usually not affiliated with hop-hop sampling like Johnny Cash, Hall And Oates, Otis Redding, The Turtles and a French language instructional record.
“3 Feet High And Rising” also introduced the “skit” concept between songs, a concept now almost too prevalent on rap albums.
“3 Feet High And Rising” also spawned hits and rap classics like “Me, Myself And I”, “Potholes In My Lawn”, “Plug Tunin’”, “Buddy”, “ Say No Go”, “The Magic Number” and “Eye No.”
Other album tracks also became cult classics as well such as “Jenifa Taught Me (Derwin’s Revenge)”, “Can U Keep A Secret” and “Transmitting Live From Mars” which saw the group and Tommy Boy Records in the middle of a lawsuit with 1960’s psychedelic group The Turtles over an uncleared sample.
The album’s funky and dreamy 1960’s and 1970’s inspired attitude coupled with the group’s concept of “The D.A.I.S.Y. Age”, an acronym for “Da Inner Sound Y’all” caused many to inaccurately refer to the group as hippies.
“3 Feet High And Rising’s” diverse subject matter which tackled things like poverty, individualism, drug abuse, love, materialism, commercialism and hip-hop clichés as spoken about on the track “Take It Off”, caused many to label it rap’s first intellectual album.
“3 Feet High And Rising” would also feature other members of the musical collective the group was a part of called The Native Tongues, with guest appearances by A Tribe Called Quest, The Jungle Brothers and Monie Love.
“3 Feet And Rising” is one of the most influential hip-hop albums in music history.
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