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De La Soul: Show Preview 

Wednesday, Mar 5 2014

Adore it or abhor it, the non-musical "skit" track has long become a fixture in hip-hop records, resulting in such interludes as Method Man discussing testicular torture and Dr. Dre offering his take on an ultra-low-budget game show. De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising is effectively responsible for creating and disseminating this device. That invention was far from the only notable thing about the Long Island group's 1989 debut album, whose 25th anniversary is being celebrated on its current tour. 3 Feet High also introduced the world to three of the cleverest, most creative, and most approachable dudes to ever break big in hip-hop — a trio that pumped this record full of enough airy, jazzy beats and spirited rhymes to make it a bona fide classic. That said, even an outfit this affable and earnest had its pet peeves: Before an '89 performance of 3 Feet High's "Me Myself and I" on The Arsenio Hall Show, Hall called them "the hippies of hip-hop" — an incident that rankled De La enough for them to reference it on full-length No. 2.

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