You remember last year when Solid-Steel Radio did a tribute to The Beastie Boys’ timeless Paul’s Boutique album? We posted the Caught In The Middle Of A 3-Way Mix by DJ Food, Cheeba and Moneyshot (with cover illustrated by the great Food One), and it ended up being one of our favorite mixtapes of the year — not only is the source music among the finest you could hope for, but the triple DJ threat treated it more like an audio documentary than a simple mixtape, using original sample sources, album tracks, interviews and rarities and mixing them up into an hour-long bouillabaisse of Beastie Boys awesomeness. Well now Solid Steel Radio’s United States of Audio is at it again — this time giving the “audio documentary” treatment to one of the 80s other hip-hop gems: De la Soul’s groundbreaking debut 3 Feet High and Rising. Like Paul’s Boutique3 Feet High and Rising was also a masterpiece of sampling production, and along with opuses like Gravediggaz 6 Feet Deep was one of the albums that fittingly elevated Prince Paul to the Mount Rushmore of hip-hop producers. Also, like Paul’s Boutique at the time, 3 Feet High and Rising is about to celebrate its 25th anniversary next year so the time for a tribute is right. As United States of Audio describes:

“Several years in the making and including around 100 tracks, this is my personal tribute to De La Soul’s ‘3 Feet High and RisingHow High’s The Water Mama tells the story of one of hip hop’s most influential albums. When De La Soul’s debut album dropped in 1989 I was ten years old. Yet, by some stroke of amazing good fortune a cassette copy of 3 Feet High and Rising found its way into my hands — thanks to my best mate’s older brother (though I’m pretty sure said brother had no idea of this fact!). The music was a revelation and had a significant influence in shaping my musical tastes – in fact I can’t think of any other album that has had such a profound effect on me as this one. Thus 3 Feet High and Rising holds a special place in my musical affections. Now, some twenty-five years after its original release, it’s time to pay my respect to Pos, Dove, Mase, and Prince Paul…”

Hit play below to experience the latest audio documentary from the Ninja Tune clique. It’s more than just a simple mixtape, it’s an hour-long critical theory class in the age of Golden Era hip-hop. Well done Solid Steel Radio and United States of Audio…

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