De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising

You know what?  Looking back at the golden age of hip hop just makes me ever more aware of how much hip hop sucks in 2008.  I check the stores and the charts all the time as part of my daily DJ chores, and aside from a smattering of singles here and there…there really isn’t much going on.

It’s disgraceful.

Sure, there’s still some good noise being made in the indie hip hop underground (Atmosphere take a bow!)  but when was the last time a really big album hit?  2005???  Compare that to the early nineties when an amazing album full of hip hop dropped almost every month.  And not just an album with a good single or two, but with an assload of singles…and a bunch of tracks that weren’t singles but you loved anyways because they fucking rocked.

I’m beginning to think the hip hop era is coming to a close.

Maybe it’s time is up…maybe it’s time for a new popular genre to rise up and take over, or maybe the time for that is over too.  Maybe with all the internets and media sources out there, there isn’t room for a single dominant force any longer.

Which is too bad because I really love hip hop.

Especially when it is so undeniably fun and frenetic as De La Soul’s “3 Feet High and Rising.”

Listening to the album for the first time was like being shot out of a cannon into a pool of Jello, nerf balls and confetti.  I was freaking out to my walkman, desperate to show someone, anyone what I had found.  Because what I found seemed almost too good to be true.

Formed in high school, the trio of Posdanus, Maceo, and Trugoy (AKA:Plug One, Plug Two and Plug Three) hit paydirt when their demo of ‘Plug Tunin’ found it’s way to producer Price Paul’s (Plug Four) hands.  Together they helped form the base of the Native Tongue Posse that included The Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, and later on Monie Love, Black Sheep, Queen Latifah and Chi Ali.

The Native tongues pretty much paved the way for new style of hip hop for the 1990’s …influencing fashion and lyrical style for years to come. But, I digress.

“3 Feet High and Rising” stands as an excellent companion to the Beastie Boy’s “Paul’s Boutique” for it’s innovative use of sampling.  It was also one of the last albums made before the sampling hammer came down on hip hop, forever changing the art.  Released in 1989, it showed and exuberance that few albums can match even to this day.  Even the group itself in all it’s varied forms has yet to top this effort.

But the day glow look and loose hippy feel would haunt the group for years as they felt they had been misunderstood and mislabeled as “hippies.” The D.A.I.S.Y. Age (DA Inner Sound Y’all) as they called it, would be short lived…but would thrive while it lasted.

Full of awesome hits like ‘Me, Myself and I,'(see below) the Steely Dan sampling ‘Eye Know’ or ‘Say No  Go’…even the misses feel like hits.  And Prince Paul’s skits were copied for, like a decade on numerous albums.  Why can’t people make shit this good anymore?

I blame Little Wayne.

In fact, I would like to take this chance to personally appeal to the boys of De La…If you’re listening, bring back Price Paul!!!  The streets are hungry for it!!!

Supa cheap off Amazon!


1 Response to “De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising”

  1. July 1, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    great choice…and you are so right, hip-hop has become waaaaaay too mainstream. remember when we had to buy hip-hop albums because the radios rarely played anything rap-oriented? i loved those days. of course, a ton of the rhymes i listen to most of the time now can’t be heard on the radio either, but that’s because the “de la’s” of today don’t get the respect that all the “yung” and “lil” rappers do. i’ll take the words and music of The Roots, The Quannum clan, Heiroglyphics, and Rhymesayers any day over 95% of the mainstream crap being made. I will consent to a select few though, such as Kanye, Lupe, Jay-Z and the future, Wale.

    nice one man.

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