On this day, March 3, in hip-hop history...

Tommy Boy
Tommy Boy

1989: Three friends from New York decide to join up and form a rap group, then made a tremendous impact with their first album.

Dave, Posdnuos and Maceo originally formed the rap trio De La Soul in 1987. The group stuck out from the crowd, through their Afrocentric, yet off-kilter, style of dress and positive subject matter. They all met up in a Long Island high school, and after releasing some early music, caught the attention of legendary producer Prince Paul. This union would prove vital, as he would have a hand in every beat on De La Soul's debut album, 3 Feet High and Risingwhich dropped on this day in 1989.

De La Soul's first full-length album was a runaway success. 3 Feet High and Rising peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard 200, and led the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The singles before the album's release were "Plug Tunin,'" which is the song that won Prince Paul over, and "Potholes in My Lawn," which hit No. 22 on the 1988 Hot Rap Singles chart. After the album dropped, the timeless "Me, Myself and I" was the biggest single. The song hit No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks and the Hot Rap Singles charts. It also peaked at No. 34 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Outside of the accolades, 3 Feet High and Rising was the polar opposite of street rap, which was heating up at the time. De La Soul never aimed to be the antithesis to what was going on in rap, even though the media used them as such. They were three guys who loved rap, being themselves the best way they knew how.

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