On March 14th, 1989 Posdnuos, Dave (Trugoy), and Maseo released their first studio album, 3 Feet High and Rising, which would not only become to be seen as one of the most influential albums to come out of the late 80’s but would also be the start of a long career for the hip hop trio De La Soul.
De La Soul formed in high school in 1987 on Long Island, New York. De La Soul would become known for their playful lyrics and eclectic sampling, as well as being considered contributors to the stylistic beginnings of alternative hip hop and jazz rap. At the time, the tone of hip hop was mainly influenced by gangsta rap which was, with its violent, angry, and confrontational lyrics, booming. De La Soul were also members of the Native Tongues Posse (featuring A Tribe Called Quest, the Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah, and even Mos Def and Common) which was known for their good-natured, positive-minded Afrocentric lyrics.
Saying that 3 Feet High and Rising was critically and commercially a success is a bit of an understatement as it would later be named on of Source Magazine’s 100 Best Rap Albums and would eventually be added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2010 due to its cultural and historic significance. The album was also credited with creating the hip hop skit, which is a style of comedic sketch used as an interlude between songs and as a method to introduce albums generally.
Two of the most popular tracks from the album are “Me Myself and I” and “Potholes In My Lawn.” Two personal favorites are "Eye Known" and also the track “Buddy” (featuring the Jungle Brothers and Q-Tip). Unfortunately, Spotify doesn't have the entire album but here are a few tracks.
The album turns 28 years old today so show it a little birthday love by giving it a listen. Keep an eye out for more Hip Hop Heritage posts as we help you (re)discover the artists and albums that made hip-hop.