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Stakes Is High

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Dilla was excited because here we are at this point in time where Dilla had already been seasoned in the game doing different things in the name of The Ummah, working with different artists but hadn’t did a De La Soul record. I think that the energy we put into that song was similar to that of what Marvin Gaye put into “What’s Going On.

At the end of track 9, "Long Island Degrees", a "redneck" explains why he hates rap music ("There's no music in it. Stakes Is High deals with many topics, including the state of hip-hop, the commercialization of hip-hop culture, and criticism of gangsta rap. Stakes Is High was mainly produced by the group themselves, with additional tracks provided by Jay Dee, DJ Ogee, Spearhead X and Skeff Anslem.

The climactic point of De La Soul’s “Stakes is High” album serves as a criticism to the state of the world in 1996, along with a declaration that the Native Tongues are back in effect. Tip is playing this new beat for Pos from Dilla and based on the history that those two have, anytime Pos gave a head nod to some shit, Q-Tip ended up keeping the beat and try to make something out of it, so he tried to use reverse psychology on this particular one. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. Da Inna Sound, Y'all) philosophy on their brilliant and weird debut, Three Feet High and Rising (making them the first—and probably only—hip-hop act to appropriate a Johnny Cash song for their album title).

In 2023, Billboard and Stereogum ranked the song number six and number two, respectively, on their lists of the 10 greatest De La Soul songs. Dave's input was no less outspoken: "I'm sick of bitches shakin' asses / I'm sick of talkin' about blunts / Sick of Versace glasses / Sick of slang / Sick of half-ass awards shows / Sick of name brand clothes. All the tracks are as original from what I can hear, no edits which is too common with Hip Hop reissues.Robert Christgau wrote: "After almost four years, Posdnuos and company emerge from the ether like the long-lost friends they are. The album marked a change in the group's sound and direction, as it was their first release not produced in collaboration with Prince Paul.

The album did provide a launching pad for future star rappers and actors Mos Def, who appeared on the track "Big Brother Beat" and Common who is featured on "The Bizness". The title track and first single was produced by J Dilla and the album's second single, "Itzsoweezee (HOT)", with only Dave on vocals, was accompanied by a creative music video. City-bred trio of Posdnuos (Pos), Dave and Maseo continued to impact Hip Hop culture with five more groundbreaking albums: "De La Soul Is Dead" ('91), "Buhloone Mindstate" ('93), "Stakes Is High" ('96), "Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump" ('00) and "AOI: Bionix" ('01).

But Stakes Is High — working with other artists and pulling in music from different places — that was a challenging album. Great to see so many other reviewers echoing what I'm feeling about this record - its absolute quality!

Stakes Is High helped introduce rapper Mos Def to a wider audience, on the track "Big Brother Beat". I’m a beginner at this vinyl thing when it comes to assessing records but this sounds really good to my ears. At the end of track 15, "Pony Ride"—an excerpt from the documentary Crumb, in which Maxon Crumb discusses his struggle living on the streets, describing his periods of optimism and depression. Super-Emcees"), skewer the industry ("The Bizness," with some help from that super MC, Common), and even shout out to their birthplace, Long Island, twice (on "Long Island Degrees" and the break-down-funky "Wonce Again Long Island"). The clip at the end of the final track, "Sunshine", closes the album with a young man saying "Yo, when I first heard 3 Feet High and Rising, I was" and then the clip is cut out in similar fashion to " Fight the Power" in Public Enemy's legendary album, Fear of a Black Planet.The song included many memorable lines such as Posdnous' " Gun control means using both hands in my land. Feet High and Rising was De La Soul's first release and a very influential album, held in similarly high regard as Criminal Minded, which is discussed at the beginning of the album. Like other De La Soul albums, Stakes Is High has a running theme, which in this case is the group's concern about the state of rap, as well as the state of hip hop culture and how it is regarded in general. Here, they're no longer so self-conscious and it's easy to remember why you liked them enough in the first place to stick with them through the hard times.

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