32. 'Three Feet High And Rising'
De La Soul
Tommy Boy 1989
At the end of the Eighties, De La Soul rolled out a new style called "D.A.I.S.Y. Age," which stood for "Da Inner Sound, Y'All." They led the Native Tongues posse – no gold chains, just samples, skits, jokes and beats. This happily sprawling album is the sound of middle class pals pushing rap's possibilities by expanding its subject matter and sonic makeup; their ingenious producer Prince Paul bit everyone from P-Funk to Hall and Oates and Johnny Cash. And on tracks like "Eye Know" and "Me, Myself, and I" De La Soul presented an optimistic eclecticism that served as a buoyant alternative to the rap scene's swaggering conformity.