My first exposure to rap and hip hop came in the form of the music channel The Box, which I don't think exists in the US anymore. The Box gave viewers the ability to dial in and by touch tone phone request what video they wanted to see. I was 9. We had just moved to Alabama after spending 8 years overseas in Europe. My older brother and I would get home from school and watch whatever was on the Rap/Hip Hop channel of the Box. N.W.A. Wu-Tang. West coast rap. East coast rap. Music videos filled with stuff I couldn't dream up. I always thought I'd get in trouble if my mom found out we were watching these music videos. Guns. Alcohol. Drugs. Bikinis. When I was 9 we weren't even allowed to watch the Simpsons or Married With Children (no, seriously, although that rule was later dropped only after being back in the states a few years, and I thank my parents for having such mercy on myself and my siblings.) But I loved it.
To my memory, nobody ever requested De La Soul. Which is a damn shame because that meant I would have to wait until I was in middle school, for my brother to listen to them (and Tribe Called Quest among others), for me to be exposed to their musical goodness. I was late in the game to loving De La Soul (although, considering my age, maybe no so late) so I didn't have any De La on vinyl. Until Sunday that is. At the Record Fair (Did you go? If you didn't you should spend the weekend sober and reading Old Man and the Sea all the way through 20 times in a row in order to properly punish yourself. As if not going and experiencing the greatness of the Fair wasn't punishment enough! zing!) I came across 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul's first album. I've listened to it maybe 8 times since Sunday. Now you can join me. Enjoy.
De La Soul - Me, Myself And I (Mp3)
De La Soul - Buddy [with Jungle Brothers and Q] (Mp3)
De La Soul - Change In Speak (Mp3)
De La Soul - Eye Know (Mp3)
De La Soul - Say No Go (Mp3)