3 Feet High and Rising by De La Soul


3 Feet High and Rising is the debut album of De La Soul, an American hip-hop group. De La Soul consists of three members: Trugoy the Dove, Maseo, and Posdnous. Released on March 3, 1989, by Tommy Records, the album title comes from the Johnny Cash song “Five Feet High and Rising.” The album contains the single “Me, Myself, and I,” which hit the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. The trio's debut album was a commercial success and is considered by The Source’s magazine as one of the “100 Best Rap Albums” and ranked 103 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” De La Soul's style altered the gangsta rap style of the late 1980s with positive vibes, surreal subjects, and bizarre metaphors. The album heavily influenced funk, soul, doo-wop, and psychedelic rock. 3 Feet High and Rising is considered by many to be the first psychedelic hip-hop album for its unconventional song structures.

Toby Mott and Paul Spencer designed the cover under their art collective, the Grey Organization (GO). They have worked as art directors for Tommy Boy Records and MTV and have done work for groups like Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, and The Rolling Stones. The album features a frequently lyrical motif of the “D.A.I.S.Y. Age,” which stands for “Da Inner Sound, Y’all.” The visual concept had the three members lying on the floor, facing up, with their heads shaping a triangle on a bright yellow background. The brightly colored hand-drawn flower designs are made of Posca paint pens and intended for the cover to represent new, bright, and moving away from macho hip-hop aesthetics. Initially, group member Trugoy was not interested in the flower concept, and instead, the group wanted themselves featured in an elevator halfway up with just their faces.