Friday, August 7, 2009


de la soul is touring to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album, the classic 3 Feet High and Rising. de la was the first hip-hop group I ever saw in concert: they opened for the mighty Living Colour (also on the bill: The Michael Hill Bluesland). de la was pretty weak actually. I don't feel bad saying that: a few years ago I interviewed them and told them I was at the show and they were all like "Oh no!" I pointed out that I'd seen them about 10 times since then and all the other shows were great!

But when I saw de la soul's "Me, Myself & I" on Yo! MTV Raps, I knew they were on a whole different thing. In my mind, most hip-hop was like heavy metal, but this was more like They Might Be Giants or something. I got the album (the tape, actually) and loved it. It was so different. They appeared to be making fun of hip-hop fashions, but they weren't really dissing artists, they were dissing people who jumped on the trends started by artists. They had a great sense of humor. But they also had something to say, like in "Ghetto Thang."

They've put out a lot of great music since then - much of which has gone unnoticed by the press, too busy fawning over the darling of the moment - they're one of the best bands in the world, in any genre. I'm glad they're still around, and hopefully younger people will discover 3 Feet High and their other amazing albums. And 3 Feet most definitely is an "album," as opposed to a collection of songs. Everything about it works as an album: the skits, the production, the order of the songs, everything. They don't make 'em like this anymore.

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