http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/d5136218767c44867b14e41e0453bbf4170bbb27.jpg 3 Feet High And Rising

De La Soul

3 Feet High And Rising

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
January 21, 1997

De La Soul has already mastered the three j's of postmodernism: juxtapose, juxtapose, juxtapose. Welcome to the first psychedelic hip-hop record.

Throughout twenty-four tracks, the band combines a bewildering variety of sounds culled from sources as disparate as a scratchy French-language-instruction record, Steely Dan's "Peg," Liberace and countless Seventies-soul rhythm tracks (including the obligatory James Brown samples) in ingenious and unexpected ways. Nothing if not zany, 3 Feet High and Rising boasts a serious Cheech and Chong influence, including a running gag of an absurd game show.

The uncanny sonic collages are as catchy as they are clever, and the mellow, bass-heavy grooves are tailor-made for blissful hip shaking. Lyrics range from social consciousness ("Ghetto Thang") to stream of consciousness ("I Can Do Anything"). One of the most original rap records ever to come down the pike, the inventive, playful 3 Feet High and Rising stands staid rap conventions on their def ear.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories


    Tune-Yards | 2011

    The opening track to Merrill Garbus’ second album under the Tune-Yards banner (she also plays in the trio Sister Suvi), “Bizness” is a song about relationships that is as colorful as the face paint favored by Garbus both live and in her videos. Disjointed funk bass, skittering African beats, diced-and-sliced horns and Garbus’ dynamic voice, which ranges from playful coos to throat-shredding howls, make “Bizness” reminiscent of another creative medium. “I'd like for them not to be songs as much as quilts or collages or something,” Garbus said.

    More Song Stories entries »