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This Or That…..3 Feet High & Rising Vs. De La Soul Is Dead

by Travis on July 7, 2008

Last Week

Down by ten votes with a little less than four hours to go, I don’t see Buhloone Mindstate coming from behind. Not that I’m overly upset about it, as I kept going back and forth between the two albums anyway, after voting for Buhloone Mindstate. Of course my man Therapy from the AB’s/The Smile Rays had to message me, telling me I was crazy going against the greatness that is De La Soul Is Dead. Needless to say, I’m okay with losing this one. This all leads to the final showdown between 3 Feet High & Rising and De La Soul is Dead.

This Week

I have to admit, this is the showdown I was expecting when I started this little experiment two weeks ago. De La’s debut against the sophomore release. The Daisy Age against the album that deadened it. Happy, go-lucky against it’s opposite. I’m not saying De La Soul Is Dead is a dark and gloomy album, but they went out of their way to steer away from what we thought of them on 3 Feet High & Rising. You didn’t want to call them “hippies”, they’d light you up in the “Donut Shop”, they weren’t to be fucked with. It’s the new against the old….Let’s get it on!

3 Feet High & Rising Vs. De La Soul Is Dead

3 Feet High & Rising


-The album elevated the art of sampling. Gone were the days of James Brown samples and “Funky Drummer” break beats. Enter samples from the Turtles and other things producers would have never thought about sampling. Prince Paul established himself as a top notch producer. Prince Paul was a freakin genius.

-Skits. Some could argue this is a good and bad thing. Sure, they utilized skits to the best of their ability and added to the overall enjoyment of the album. But it also ushered in every wack group making even wacker skits that ruined many a fast forward button on Sony Walkmans.

-Every single from the album is a certified “classic”. From “Plug Tunin”, to “Potholes In My Lawn” (which I still don’t care for all that much), to “Me, Myself & I”, to one of the greatest posse cuts of all-time in “Buddy”, to the wishy washy “Say No Go”, they all are heralded among some of the best tracks in hip hop history.

-The whole creative output that was put into the album is still amazing. The whole album is a hodge podge of great lyrics and amazing beats. The concept is just amazing and ground breaking. To me, it rivals Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique as one of the most creative efforts ever released.

-It made being a hippy in hip hop a cool thing. Sure, they would go back to hate this image later on, but Tommy Boy did a great job of marketing this. It’s the D.A.I.S.Y Age, Y’all!

-Plug One, Two & Three had charisma, personality, and were just characters of themselves. You can definately see that in the “Me, Myself & I” video. I didn’t even like the song back in the day, and I would still watch this video. The seemed like “real people”, dudes that you went to school with.

-If you didn’t care for them at first, you surely wouldn’t care for them after the 3 Feet High & Rising album ran it’s course. I was so sick of the D.A.I.S.Y. age, I was happy when they named the next album De La Soul Is Dead.

-I personally don’t care for a lot of the tracks on the album still to this day.

De La Soul is Dead


- Much more accessible in nature than their lead off album, 3 Feet High & Rising. De La Soul tried to kill all that noise of hippies and the daisy age by basically reinventing themselves. ….Is Dead is a more mature effort, yet still plays and has fun.

- I thought the skits that tied this together through out the album was excellently executed. We get to hear the demise of Jeff as dicksnot and his boys beat the fuck out of him and jack him for the “new” De La Soul album. I never get tired of hearing them and still laugh out loud at certain sayings.

- The singles from the album were great. I had “Ring Ring Ring” as my answering machine message back in the day and “A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturday” is one of those tracks that you could play at any jam.

- It’s just an overall cohesive effort, which is saying something f
or an album that is 27 cuts long. It has a vibe that flows through out the album. Tracks like “Biddie in the BK Loung” and “Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa Claus” just make this album a great effort.


- There isn’t much to bag on in the album. I thought some of the focus of earlier in the album is lost, “Shwingalokate”, “Fanatic of the B Word”, and “Keep the Faith” (which sounds like a 3 Feet reject). So it could’ve been trimmed a little bit here and there.

- Not necessarily a negative for me, but if you were into their previous image, this would probably disappoint some.

Final Verdict

Sorry for recycling the previous posts, but what more can I write about without beating a dead horse in the ground? I have a feeling, from what I’m reading from people’s comments, that both of these albums have their die hard fans. 3 Feet High... is De La’s initial jump into the music scene. It was fresh, nothing like anything else out at the time. But it did get to be too much. It scared some of us off, as said in the comments. A lot of people felt the same way as I did. Those people are the ones that support De La Soul Is Dead. They killed the Daisy Age and dropped a classic album. Like my man Therapy said, “De La Soul is Dead is hip hop version of Sgt Pepper”, which is nothing short of the truth. It could very easily be in the running for one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. Yes, I know I voted for Buhloone over it, but I’m not afraid to say that as far as quality, De La Soul Is Dead triumphs it. It also triumphs 3 Feet High & Rising and I expect most of you all to agree with me.

Be on the look out for a WYDU Classics Presents De La Soul tracks….some of the rare goodies coming later this week.

Winner: De La Soul is Dead

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