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Great Albums From 1996: De La Soul - Stakes Is High


 Google Images: De La Soul- Stakes Is High, released July 2nd 1996

"Yo, people go through pain and still don't gain
Positive contact just like my main man
Who got others cleaning up his physical influence
His mind got congested
He got the nine and blew it
Neighborhoods are now hoods cause nobody's neighbors
Just animals surviving with that animal behavior
Under I who be rhyming from dark to light sky
Experiments when needles and skin connect
No wonder where we live is called the projects
When them stakes is high you damn sure try to do
Anything to get the piece of the pie
Even die for the cash
But at last I be out even though you wantin' more
This issue is closed like an elevator door
But soon re-opened once we get to the next floor where the
Stakes is high

Y'all know them stakes is high
When we talkin' 'bout the
(Vibes, vibrations)
Stakes is high
Stakes is high, come on" 

A Verse From "Stakes Is High" 1996: Lyrics from Google Play

Another one (DJ Khaled voice)  1996 was a good year for Hip-Hop some very influential albums came out during a turblent time in the culture. East vs west was on everyone minds; You could not turn pass BET or MTV with out seeing about a news clips about it. The magazines stands were filled with urban publications that featured titles on the  cover like who will win? These was some interesting times for the hip-hop fan, were you Death Row or Bad Boy?

Not everyone was involved in the eastcoast/westcoast beef, however it didn't stop some artists from speaking their minds on the climate of hip-hop in 1996. On the same day that Nas released "It Was Written" De La Soul released their fourth album "Stakes Is High''. The lead single of the same title "Stakes Is High" and the rest of album spoke on the theme of hip-hop going mainstream and the focus being shifted from pushing the culture forward.

De La Soul always stayed true to their own sound and style, they were deemed the pioneers of the daisy age during the late 80's and early 90's. Stakes is high spoke of how the industry changed things on songs like "The Bizness feat Common" and how everyone is trying their hand at rapping and that it is not for everyone  on"Supa Emcees".  Kind of sounds similar to "Ego Trip" from Buhloon Mind State 1993.

De La Soul knows how to make a good groove as well "4 More feat. Zhane",  SIH sonically was cohesive album, a mix of the signature east coast boom bap, funk and production from Detroit Producer the late JDilla. A young Mos Def could be heard on "Big Brother Beat"  this song kinda served as a prelude to what was to become of  Mos Def later projects with  the group Black Star and his solo projects.

The songs and themes featured on Stakes Is High very well fit in today's climate of hip-hop, not saying nothing against this generation style of music. This album was speaking on themes from twenty years ago that folks was complaining about in hip -hop back then, are also the same things that agiatates some people now.

De La Soul saw it in 1996, who knew that  some of these things would still carry on in mainstream hip-hop.  At least back then there was a bit more of balance from artist and their sound.  Inclusion Stakes is high is definitely a classic album from 1996, and if you have not heard the album please do your self a favor and go check it out.

Even  though De La Soul was not wraped up in the eastcoast/westcoast beef, Tupac was not a big fan, check out the some hip-hop history below

Video from Hip -Hop DX Youtube Page:


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Google Images: Micheal S. Smith Photography, Seneca Vocational H.S.
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