Thursday, September 8, 2022

"Me Myself and I" by De La Soul

Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  3923
Date:  06/03/1989
Debut:  86
Peak:  34
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Hip-Hop, Rap, Funk

Pop Bits:  This trio from Long Island was made up of Posdnuos (Kelvin Mercer), Trugoy (David Jolicoeur), and Pasemaster Mase aka Maseo (Vincent Mason). They began crafting songs while still in high school and were able to record a basic demo for one of their tracks "Plug Tunin'," which was near the end of '86. The demo made its way over to Prince Paul of Stetsasonic. Liking what he heard, he got De La Soul in the studio to record a proper demo record. That demo helped De La Soul get signed to Tommy Boy Records and in the spring of '88 "Plug Tunin'" was issued out as a single. While it didn't chart, the trio went ahead and began to record a debut album with Prince Paul. They would finish off 3 Feet High and Rising and push out the double-sided single "Jenifa (Taught Me)"/"Potholes in My Lawn." The track was able to reach #22 Rap. Then came this follow-up single. It would be the trio's breakthrough moment with the song reaching #1 R&B/#1 Rap/#1 Dance. All that attention helped the song cross over to the Pop chart where it made the Top 40. The single would sell well enough to go gold. In turn, the album would reach #1 R&B/#24 Pop and become a platinum seller. A third single, "Say No Go," would get to #3 Dance/#33 R&B/#11 Rap. Further singles would fail to chart. The album would be critically hailed and this single would earn De La Soul a Grammy nod for Best Rap Performance.

ReduxReview:  With its mix of skits, genres, beats, humorous lyrics, and samples, the psychedelic hip-hop trip of 3 Feed High and Rising quickly became a classic and this single did a lot in leading folks to the album. The track was in sharp contrast to the gangsta rap coming out at the time and it was miles ahead of goofy rap tracks pushed out by acts like The Fat Boys and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. The trio were interested in finding new avenues in rap/hip-hop and their experimental sound was accepted and appreciated. While they didn't necessarily set out to write a hit single, it seems they were encouraged to come up with something a bit more easier to latch on to for the LP that would help draw in listeners. They came up with "Me Myself and I" and it was the right tune to accomplish the goal.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The album was highly influential at the time and hailed as a potential game changer. With the trio nixing hardcore rap and going for a more positive sound that mixed hip-hop with jazz and other genres, it was seen by many as a new direction for rap. Due to their positive outlook, their mesh of styles, and their concept of the D.A.I.S.Y. Age, which stood for "da inner sound y'all," the trio got labeled as sort of new age hip-hop hippies, which really wasn't their intent. For their next album, 1991's De La Soul Is Dead, the cover alluded to the trio wanting to put to bed their D.A.I.S.Y. Age concept with the image of a tipped over and broken flower pot that held daisies.  2) While De La Soul would only have a couple songs reach the Pop chart over the years, they returned to the Top 40 in 2005 via a collaboration. The British virtual alt rock band Gorillaz would feature De La Soul on the single "Feel Good Inc." It was the lead single from their second album Demon Days. The song would get to #13 Pop and #1 Alt Rock. It would also earn three Grammy nods including Record of the Year. It would win for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. The album would reach #6 and go double platinum.

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