In our countdown of the top 10 De La Soul songs, we look at this trio which has often been labeled as the pioneers of alternative hip hop who laid the groundwork that many future hip hop acts would follow. De La Soul’s music was characterized by humor, positivity, and a jazz influence that made them one of the most beloved acts of the 1990s and 2000s. The trio was formed in 1988 and comprised Posdnuos, Maseo, and Trugoy, all of whom hailed from Amityville in New York. The group’s career began on a high note with its debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, often regarded as a classic hip-hop masterpiece. In this article, we have ranked the ten best De La Soul songs, which we know that you will absolutely love jamming to.
#10 – All Good?
The number ten song on our countdown of the top ten De La Soul songs is the single “All Good?” The song was initially supposed to feature Outkast, but since the duo was unavailable, De La Soul did the verses and recruited Chaka Khan for the hook. As Chaka Khan depicts in the chorus, “All Good?” is a phrase implying that things may either be okay or not okay. The song was a message to people who shunned the group after their popularity declined but wanted to ride along during their period of success.
#9 – Stakes Is High
Coming in at number nine is the title song from the trio’s 1996 album, Stakes Is High, which is considered to be their darkest and most significant album in terms of production and subject matter. The track featured some relentless attacks on the state of hip-hop culture and its commercialization. The song summed up the main message for the entire album with some memorable lines from the trio. The video of the song features all the three members of the group in an episode of The Maury Povich Show, discussing hip hop culture and its influence on the world, along with the trio performing household chores at home.
#8 – Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)
The number eight song on our list is a party song from De La Soul’s second album, De La Soul Is Dead. The track is about the group’s fans who pursue them with tapes in order to get an endorsement from the group. Many people assume that the song samples Fat Larry’s Band 1982 song “Act Like You Know,” but the song actually samples The Whatnauts 1981 song, “Help Is On the Way.”
#7 – Ghetto Thang
There is no doubt that De La Soul’s sound has evolved continuously since its debut to feature eclectic sounds. However, they still remained among the greatest hip-hop acts despite carving out their own take in hip hop. This track contains one of the few instances on the album 3 Feet and Rising where the duo talks about poverty, and to be honest, that was something that they could never have ignored. The song also discusses other social evils, such as gun violence and drug abuse. The track has a great flow, and the lyrics are amazing.
#6 – The Magic Number
De La Soul’s 1989 album, 3 Feet High and Rising, was an incredible piece of artwork from the group that showed a clear statement that it was okay to sound different in hip hop. “The Magic Number,” which is the opening track on the album, set the tone for the rest of this classic album, whose idea came while the group was working in Mase’s basement. The song features some great rhymes from Posdonous talking about himself and what he was going through, but in the end, it shows how the trio had a magical bond.
#5 – Ego Trippin’ Part Two
The number five song on our countdown of the greatest De La Soul songs is a continuation of the group’s track, “Ego Trippin’,” which was a sarcastic depiction of hip hop rappers who brag about how they are the greatest MCs in the world. The track features some hardcore screaming in the intro and vocal contributions from Shorty No Mass, who also appears in the video.
#4 – Buddy
I have always been a big fan of A Tribe Called Quest, and in this track, Phife Dawg sounds so good alongside the trio. The song also features Queen Latifah, who comes in with a great verse of her own. The song contains a funky beat with a sample of the bassline for the song “Heartbeat” by Taana Gardner.
#3 – The Bizness
“The Bizness” is the third song from the group’s 1996 album, Stakes Is High. The track sees the trio link up with Common, who later featured them in his LP, One Day It’ll All Make Sense. Posdnous lyrical prowess shines throughout this track which also contains a great beat. Common compliments the trio so well with a great verse of his own. There is no doubt that “The Bizness” is one of the standout tracks in the album.
#2 – Me Myself and I
This track ranks so high on our list since it is one of their first tracks to clearly display the group’s distinct style of combining hip hop with humor and social commentary. “Me Myself and I” remains to be their only number song on the US R&B Chart and is noted for its similarity with the Jungle Brothers song, Black Is Black. The song was ranked #46 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop and has been used in the video games NCAA Football 06 and NBA Street V3.
#1 – Eye Know
The number one track on our countdown of the best De La Soul songs is the ninth song from De La Soul’s debut album, 3 Feet High Rising. The song is upbeat and contains some impressive beats featuring guitar and horn samples from the song “Make This Young Lady Mine: by The Mad Lads. The song also contains vocal samples from Steely Dan’s 1977 song, “Peg,” and a whistle sample from Otis Redding’s 1967 song, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” Although the song was not released as a single in the US, it did perform well on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 14. The song was also used as background music from Match of the Day 2’s highlights of Saturday goals from 2004 to 2008.
Top 10 De La Soul Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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