On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
De La Soul – Me Myself and I (1989)
” Me Myself and I” is a song by American hip hop trio De La Soul, released as a single in 1989 from their debut studio album, 3 Feet High and Rising . It established the group’s characteristic style of combining hip hop with humor and social commentary.
We’re leaving the UK behind today, dear reader, and making our way back to the US and to New York. Formed in 1988 De La Soul are a hip hop act that sampled other artists, incorporated jazz into their style and specialised in social commentary as well. When we join them in 1989 it is with the release of their debut album – 3 Feet High and Rising – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Me Myself and I.
In Me Myself & I each of the members of De La Soul take it in turns to express their frustration at being labelled by their contemporaries as hippies. They cover such areas as the way they look and dress and the perceptions that others have of them. They firmly deny the idea that they are hippies, instead that they are artists to be taken seriously and that they want to prove themselves given the opportunity. The refrain of “me myself and I” is used to distance themselves from the hippie label and to clearly state they are themselves and not adhering to some prior identity.
This was an interesting piece of hip hop and I did get a feel of jazz in the music as it unfolded and each of the members took it in turns to go through the verses. It has a catchy beat to it and the message within the lyrics is a strong one about the dangers of trying to pigeon hole others with convenient labels. Why can’t we just be ourselves? The hip hop group are continuing to perform to this day and released their ninth album in 2016.
Favourite songs so far: