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Stakes Is High
Stakes Is High.jpg
Studio album by De La Soul

Released

July 2, 1996

Recorded

April 1995 - March 1996

Studio

World Recording Facility
(New York City, NY)
Platinum Island Studios
(New York City, NY)

Genre

East Coast hip hop, Alternative hip hop, Conscious hip hop, Boom bap, Underground hip hop

Length

68:19

Label

Tommy Boy Records / Warner Bros. Records

Producer

Skeff Anselm, De La Soul, J Dilla, Ogee, Spearhead X

De La Soul chronology

Previous

Clear Lake Audiotorium (1994)

Next

Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump (2000)

Stakes Is High is the fourth studio album by American hip hop group De La Soul. It was released on July 2, 1996 by Tommy Boy Entertainment. Recording sessions took place at World Recording Facility and Platinum Island Recording Studios in New York City from April 1995 to March 1996. Production was handled predominantly by the group themselves with additional contributions by J Dilla, DJ Ogee, Spearhead X and Skeff Anselm. The album marked a change in the group's sound and direction as it was their first release that was not produced in collaboration with Prince Paul. It features guest appearances by Common, Jazzyfatnastees, Mos Def, Zhane and Truth Enola. It received mostly positive reviews but less commercial success than previous albums by the group.

The album peaked at #13 on the Billboard 200 and #4 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Stakes Is High released three singles: "4 More", "Itzsoweezee (Hot)" and the title track "Stakes Is High".


Content[]

Stakes Is High dealt with many topics, including the current state of hip hop, the commercialisation of the hip hop culture, and criticism towards gangsta rap. This album would cause great contempt with rapper Tupac Shakur, who would retaliate against the group on his song "Against All Odds" from his posthumous 1996 album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. Naughty by Nature, who received a diss on the track "Intro", also took offence to the record, creating a feud amongst the two groups that has only ended recently.

Stakes Is High helped introduce rapper Mos Def to a wider audience, on the song "Big Brother Beat".

Track listing[]

No. Title Performer(s) Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro" Posdnuos, Trugoy Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer De La Soul 2:35
2. "Supa Emcees" Trugoy, Posdnuos Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer De La Soul 3:40
3. "The Bizness" Trugoy, Common, Posdnuos Lynn, Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer De La Soul 5:41
4. "Wonce Again Long Island" Posdnuos Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer De La Soul 3:39
5. "Dinninit" Trugoy, Posdnuos Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer Spearhead X 4:20
6. "Brakes" Posdnuos, Trugoy Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer De La Soul 4:06
7. "Dog Eat Dog" Trugoy, Posdnuos Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer De La Soul 3:40
8. "Baby Baby Baby Baby Ooh Baby" Jazzyfatnastees, Posdnuos Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer De La Soul 2:10
9. "Long Island Degrees" Trugoy, Posdnuos Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer De La Soul 3:27
10. "Betta Listen" Trugoy, Posdnuos Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer De La Soul 4:28
11. "Itzsoweezee (HOT)" Trugoy Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer De La Soul 4:55
12. "4 More" Zhane, Posdnuos, Trugoy Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer, Scott Ogee, De La Soul (co.) 4:18
13. "Big Brother Beat" Mos Def, Trugoy, Posdnuos Anselm, Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer Skeff Anselm 3:42
14. "Down Syndrome" Posdnuos, Trugoy Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer De La Soul 3:28
15. "Pony Ride" Trugoy, Truth Enola, Posdnuos Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer, Preston De La Soul 5:26
16. "Stakes Is High" Posdnuos, Trugoy Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer, Yancey Jay Dee, De La Soul (co.) 5:30
17. "Sunshine" Trugoy, Posdnuos Jolicoeur, Mason, Mercer De La Soul 3:39




Samples[]

Intro

  • "Medley: Sing a Simple Song/Can You Remember (Live)" by The Jackson 5

Supa Emcees

  • "Summer Samba" by Walter Wanderley
  • "La Di Da Di" by Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick
  • "Cussin', Cryin' and Carryin' On" by Ike & Tina Turner
  • "Super Sporm" by Captain Sky

Tha Bizness

  • "Get Down" by Craig Mack
  • "The Look of Love" by Howard Roberts Chorus

Wonce Again Long Island

  • "Who's Making Love" by Lou Donaldson

Dinninit

  • "Enchanted Lady" by Milt Jackson and The Ray Brown Big Band

Dog Eat Dog

  • "Peaceful Sundown" by Jan Hammer Group
  • "The Moment I Feared" by Slick Rick

Baby Baby Baby Baby Ooh Baby

  • "Hobo Scratch" by Malcolm McLaren and World's Famous Supreme Team

Long Island Degrees

  • "Before I Rest" by Les McCann

Betta Listen

  • "The Outside Man" by Little Junior Parker
  • "Funky Drummer" by James Brown

Itzsoweezee (HOT)

  • "Hot This Year" by Dirtsman

4 More

  • "Louisiana Blues" by Climax Blues Band
  • "A Rose for Booker" by Chico Hamilton

Big Brother Beat

  • "Computer Game (Theme From the Circus)" and "Cosmic Surfin'" by Yellow Light Orchestra
  • "I Am the Tall Tree" by The Flock
  • "Here We Go (Live at the Funhouse)" by Run-D.M.C.

Down Syndrome

  • "Come Dancing" by Jeff Beck
  • "Talkin' Loud & Sayin' Nothing" by James Brown

Pony Ride

  • "Senyah" by Roy Haynes

Stakes Is High

  • "Swahililand" by Ahmad Jamal
  • "Mind Power" by James Brown

Sunshine

  • "High on Sunshine" by Commodores
  • "Free Angela (Thoughts... And All I've Got to Say)" by Bayete
  • "Blow Your Head" by Fred Wesley and The J.B.'s