1989’s Three Feet High and Rising is the first (of three) collaborations between production pioneer Prince Paul and Long Island-based hip hop moguls De La Soul. Both a critical and commercial success, Three Feet harbors a unique brand of positive, conscious hip hop that was virtually unheard of in the late 80s, and would help to jettison a lucrative and fulfilling career for both parties. By far my favorite release from this essential band, Three Feet is critical for anyone wanting to simultaneously laugh, and swim inside intelligent hip hop grooves. If you don’t already own this, bump it to the top of your list.
Having just returned, unscathed, from an overnight impromptu camping trip, one couldn’t help but spin this 1997 debut by Bronx helmed Camp Lo. Collaborating with both Trugoy from De La Soul and Butterfly from Digable Planets, with the majority of the producing done by the Jay-Z famous Ski, Uptown Saturday Night is unobtrusive, yet no less hard-hitting sophisticated hip hop galvanized from jazz and funk roots. Camping is fun, and so is Camp Lo… makes sense to me.