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Martin Guttridge-Hewitt
22 February 2024, 13:23

De La Soul announces ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ 35th anniversary edition with bonus tracks

The hip-hop landmark will be repackaged with bonus material, while a live stream and a Rough Trade New York event are also planned

Classic photo of De La Soul posing in front of a blue curtain

De La Soul have announced a 35th anniversary digital edition of their debut album, '3 Feet High and Rising'.

Set to land on streaming services on 1st March, the commemorative release will include the original LP in its entirety, alongside a number of additional bonus tracks. Digitally unreleased versions of 'Freedom Of Speak (We Got Three Minutes)', 'Ain’t Hip to be Labelled a Hippie', 'What's More', and 'Jenifa Taught Me (12” Version)' are all included. Original demos from member DJ Maseo’s archives — 'Plug Tunin’ (Home Demo)' and 'Freedom Of Speak (Home Demo)' – also feature.

'Freedom Of Speak (We Got Three Minutes)' has been officially released today alongside a lyric video. Watch it below. 

The pioneering hip-hop act are widely credited with pushing the genre in new directions during its Golden Age, distilling elements of jazz with rap and helping create an alternative sub-genre known for its witty skits and highly innovative use of sampling. Last year, the group's entire formal back catalogue was finally made available on streaming services, just weeks after co-founder-member Trugoy, AKA David Jude Jolicoeur, died aged 54.

First landing in 1989, and taking its name from a Johnny Cash song, '3 Feet High and Rising' is widely regarded as a genre landmark, and has been inducted into the US National Recording Library of Congress, having been deemed  "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The record produced hit singles such as 'Me Myself and I', 'The Magic Number', 'Buddy', and 'Eye Know'. 

Boasting 24 tracks and running a 67 minutes, critics at the time noted the radical difference between De La Soul's sound and other hip-hop artists of the moment, specifically commending their danceability, inventiveness and playfulness, citing influences from acts like The Jarmels and French language education cassettes. 

In addition to the expanded version, the 35th anniversary celebrations for '3 Feet High and Rising' will also include an online Talk Shop Live chat on Tuesday 27th February EST, featuring band figureheads  Posdnuos and Maseo, giving fans a chance to join a livestream conversation about the record, and grab themselves a signed album insert.

Then on 3rd March, the original record's release date, De La Day will celebrate the band's journey and impact via an in-store at Rough Trade in New York City. During the week starting 4th March, they will play live on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.