Socialist Worker

The Daisy Age—when hip hop turned hippy

by Yuri Prasad
Issue No. 2670

Hippy rap

Hippy rap

Who would imagine that in 1989 hip hop would turn hippy?

Rap had in the previous three years been dominated by hard political lyrics combined with heavy 1970s funk samples.

But the arrival of De La Soul’s debut, 3 Feet High and Rising, was to change everything. They weren’t afraid to play with words—making rhymes funny, abstract and weird.

They slowed the hip hop tempo right down and created a lot more space in the music. The samples now came from obscure psychedelia, blue-eyed 1980s soul, and even Linguaphone learn French tapes.

The album’s huge success opened the gates to many more. And the new breed were keen to push the boundaries even further.

A Tribe Called Quest, The Freestyle Fellowship and Brand Nubian combined pro-black politics with Avant Garde jazz samples and created a whole genre of their own.

This new compilation—The Daisy Age from Ace Records—brings some of that music together.

In time the East Coast hippies were eclipsed by their Gangsta rivals from LA.

And yet somehow this briefest of hip hop moments still casts a multi-coloured shadow.

Ace Records, £11.50

How Not To Drown

After the end of the Kosovan War, Dritan is sent across the Adriatic with a gang of people smugglers to a new life in Europe.

He relies on his young wit and charm to make it to Britain.

But the fight for survival continues as he clings to his identity and sense of self when he ends up in the British care system.

The Tron Theatre, Glasgow, 11—14 September. Tickets from £11 Go to

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Tue 3 Sep 2019, 09:17 BST
Issue No. 2670
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