[15] De La Soul, ‘Eye Know’

De La Soul

3 Feet High & Rising, the soundtrack to a summer spent at Berkhamsted’s late, lamented outdoor swimming baths. A girl called Nova came over one afternoon and asked me what I was listening to – “De La Soul,” I said.  She was nonplussed and I didn’t pursue it.

Junior’s more hip to Mase, Pos and Trugoy – rocking with the best and putting in a brave effort to overbalance her highchair. We dotted around the album after this song, and ‘The Magic Number’ sent her loopy, but we’re here for ‘Eye Know’, where the magic number is two and Junior can wriggle with delight when she spots her favourite Steely Dan samples. She can only take them in small doses.

It’s a cutely formed little gem; the sweetest moment of De La Soul’s fresh take on hip hop. A fresh take fired, I suppose, by acid house and E and the Cold War thaw and Arsenal’s slaying of the Liverpool monster and the break-up of Microdisney and the first inklings of the demise of Thatcher – all fusing together to bring a new hippy era. Daisy this, daisy that.

[20] Gorillaz featuring De La Soul, ‘Feel Good Inc.’

Junior’s grinning at me before I’ve even stepped away from the stereo, and by the time De La Soul start their “laughing gas” cackles she’s in bits. Posdnuos, Trugoy and Mace first came to Junior’s attention when she was minus 16 and twinkling in the corner of her dad’s eye by the municipal outdoor pool in Berkhamsted. She stuck with them through the jazz period and the frankly boring albums period, and is delighted to see them return to the fore as ciphers to Albarn’s cartoon characters.