Today in Hip Hop History: September 21
Classic jazz/hip-hop fusion trio De La Soul released their third full-length studio album, Buhloone Mindstate, through Tommy Boy Records in 1993. Buhloone Mindstate was the last De La Soul album to be exclusively produced by Prince Paul. It featured the likes of Shortie No Mass, Dres of Black Sheep, Takagi Kan, Biz Markie, Guru, Maceo Parker and several others.
The title refers to a phonetic spelling of the word “balloon” mindstate, which serves as a metaphor for the trio’s aspirations. They implied that they will retain the ability to blow up like a balloon without the unfortunate pop. At that point in their career, De La wanted to continually increase their popularity without selling out.
As for the album itself, it continued the jazzy trends of albums past, with features from several jazz veterans. Buhloone Mindstate also includes a spoken word verse from the legendary MC Guru, verses from Japanese rappers Scha Dara Parr and Takagi Kan, and numerous samples.
Buhloone Mindstate retained fantastic critical reviews, with a perfect score from RapReviews and an A+ from Entertainment Weekly, in addition to a 4.5/5 from The Source and Rolling Stone. Comedian and actor Chris Rock ranked it as 10 out of the 25 best hip hop albums of all time on his personal list. The album continued the alternative hip hop success of De La’s previous two classics, 3 Feet High and Rising and De La Soul is Dead.