Sons of Beatles

Wouldn't you like to be Sgt. Pepper, too?

If you're D'Arby, you call this kind of thing intercontextual experimentation. If you're De La Soul, you call it amusing or obnoxious or psychedelic.

And 3 Feet High and Rising is as psychedelic--or at least as flower- power-oriented--as any rap album gets. It's no wonder the album has been unofficially subtitled "the Sgt. Pepper of Rap." Day-Glo daisies adorn the album cover. So does a peace sign. There's even a song called "Tread Water," on which Posdnuos and Trugoy the Dove (Yo! Peace!) swap advice with and get turned on by a crocodile, a monkey, a squirrel and a fish.

But unlike the rest of the Sgt. Satanic school, 3 Feet High and Rising manages to find room for another great concept in pop music--the single. You can actually appreciate songs like "Potholes in My Lawn," "Me Myself and I," and "Eye Know" without attending art history class. Pos and Dove rap sly rhymes over simple, funky beats and a friendly guitar or synth hook. Okay, so occasionally a horn or a yodel does wink at you from out of nowhere. Big deal. After all, De La Soul's no Michelangelo, and 3 Feet High and Rising is certainly not the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

What a relief.

The Stones played monkey-see, monkey-do, and coughed up a hairball they called Their Satanic Majesties Request.

D'Arby proclaimed his debut album to be better than the Pepper--to be, in fact, "the most brilliant debut album from any artist this decade."

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