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DE LA SOUL'S "MAGIC NUMBER" COMES UP

De La Soul fans, rejoice. 34 years after rap visionaries Posdnuos, Dave and Maseo delivered their seminal debut, 3 Feet High and Rising (Tommy Boy), their first six albums are finally coming to streaming services—and returning to retail. To kick off the campaign, De La Soul has re-released "The Magic Number," the set's lead single.

Produced by the brilliant Prince Paul, the track and its accompanying album ushered in a new sound and attitude for hip-hop. At the time, gangsta rap had begun its ascent on the West Coast, exemplified by such artists as N.W.A, Ice-T and The D.O.C. De La Soul's peace-loving vibe, acrobatic wordplay and encyclopedic samples were a stark departure from the grime and grit that had rap fans shouting "Fuck tha Police." But true to De La's nature, the New York-bred trio still found common ground with its peers.

"Whether it was Kool G Rap or N.W.A," we were into it," Pos told us. "Our first tour, we were out with N.W.A. We were on one side of the so-called scale and they’re on the other. But I could find myself going to the mall and hanging out with Ice Cube, bugging out with MC Ren, The D.O.C.— they loved our music and we loved them.

"We saw firsthand on the actual creative front lines that they’re into what we’re into. Geto Boys was on this tour. It was just so much fun. We knew where gangsta rap was going, and we could exist in it 'cause we saw people doing it who love us as well. The most gangstas of gangstas at [L.A. roller rink] World of Wheels were right there listening to [3 Feet High single] 'Me, Myself & I.'"

In addition to the digital release of "The Magic Number," a vinyl 7-inch, a cassingle and a digital download are available on De La Soul’s website (all are distributed by Chrysalis Records). The 7-inch has sold out in the U.S. but is still available in limited quantities internationally. Find more information here, check out the lyric video below (replete with images evoking the Schoolhouse Rock toon sampled in the song) and let a daisy grow in your mind.

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