Editor’s Note: I listened to De La Soul’s 3rd and 4th albums, Buhloone Mindstate and Stakes Is High. I’ve explained about the streaming already, my thoughts/impressions.


I’ll reiterate that I’ll essentially just list the songs I liked best and share my thoughts. No Pitchfork pseudo-analysis.

Track 3: “En Focus (feat. Shortie No Mass & Dres)” Heading bobbing ensues, nice baseline, they sample both “Rockit” by Herbie Hancock and “Atomic Dog”.

Track 4: “Patti Dooke (feat. Guru, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley & Pee Wee Ellis)” Employed some jazz/funk legends and this is the jazziest song so far by De La, which makes sense considering who’s on the track. Also, Guru makes a lot of sense on this song, he basically says the hook, doesn’t really rap. Also Dooke is duly noted. These guys are obsessed with poop, in the funniest way possible,

Track 5: “I Be Blowing’ (feat. Maceo Parker)” This is basically a jazz track and as so, was added to my Jazz/Funk/Blues (don’t tell mom!) playlist. If you are counting this is 3/3 albums that they’ve switched up a song enough that I added to a non hip hop playlist. Maceo is a legend, not just for his musicianship but for even being able to put up with James Brown as long as he did.

Track 7: “Ego Trippin’, Pt. 2 (feat. Shortie No Mass)” They sample 15 songs and basically parody a bunch of existing hip hop songs. Pretty sure they are talking shit here, nice song.

Track 8: “Paul’s Revenge” Just Prince Paul leaving a VM where he’s mad. It’s funny. This album doesn’t touch the first 2 from a comedic standpoint, but they wanted to change it up a bit, who can blame them?

Track 10: “Area” An area code song! Making fun of area code songs I’m pretty sure.

Track 11: “I Am I Be (feat. Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley & Pee Wee Ellis)” Probably my favorite song on the album. This again is the jazziest of the first three albums by a long shot. With the electric guitar and live instrumentation this sounds a bit like a cousin to an Outkast song.

Track 12: “In the Woods (feat. Shortie No Mass)” Think someone is probably smashing Shortie No Mass, she’s on a ton of tracks here. Head bobbing ensues when listening to this song.

Track 13: “Breakadawn” Probably the only song I had/remember hearing of this album back in the day. Similar to some of the more uptempo songs on De La Soul Is Dead. Only song on this album that recreates that formula.

Track 15: “Stone Age (feat. Biz Markie)” Nobody beats the Biz!!!

This is the album with our liege Prince Paul as the main producer. They really changed up the style from the first two albums and I definitely respect them for doing so. My least favorite of the first three albums, but a ton of good music here and definitely worth a listen. The best musical groups evolve and De La has definitely done that on their first 3 albums.

Allmusic Review 3.5/5 stars

How High?

Track 1: “Intro (Stakes Is High)” Starts off with different people discussing when they first heard the album Criminal Minded by the group Boogie Down Productions. This album will be the most boom bap tinged release by De La to date.

Track 2: “Supa Emcees” Boom bap again, head nodding ensues.

Track 5: “Wonce Again Long Island” I can’t remember another rap group repping Long Island, love it.

Track 6: “Dinninit” A 5 star banger. Why in 1996 did I have to be beaten over the head with The fucking Fugees and this song wasn’t on the radio or heavy MTV rotation? Criminal. “Now I’m hittin Whitney Houston, oh she bought me a fur” lol, name of the post.

Track 7: “Brakes” Back to back 5 star bangers. The first 5 star songs since De La Soul Is Dead.

Track 8: “Dog Eat Dog” I’m a sucker for the modulated keyboard that is sampled and slowed down a touch. It’s a sample from a song called, “Peaceful Sundown” from a group named the Jan Hammer Group. Thanks again Who Sampled! Just goes to show again that the best rap producers are true music lovers.

Track 12: “Itsoweezee (Hot)” Sounds like the best song Jurassic 5 never made. 5 star. Just laid back hip hop done expertly. “I’m keeping it clean like a washing machine” lol.

Track 14: “Big Brother Beat (feat. Mos Def)” Mos Def blends well with the fellas, much better than the Common guest appearance earlier on the album.

Track 16: “Pony Ride (feat. Truth Enola)” More laid back goodness.

Track 17: “Stakes Is High” The 4th and final 5 star on the album. De La Soul Is Dead had 5 (I only mention 4 in my post, but realized that “Afro Connections at a Hi 5 “is also a 5 star, so 5)

Track 18: “Sunshine” Great end to the album and just love ending with someone saying, “Yo when I first heard 3 Feet High and Rising I was” fin.

I think this just edges out 3 Feet High and Rising as my second favorite album up to this point. The higher are a bit higher here so it barely edges it out. Just a great mix of boom bap and laid back hip hop on this release. They are essentially 4/4 on their first four releases. Just a stunningly under-rated hip-hop/music group.

Allmusic review 4/5 stars