The three members of De La Soul had been writing rhymes and working on concepts for a while but Three Feet High and Rising
didn't come together until they got signed by Tommy Boy. This was one of the songs that originated in their earlier sessions. Posdnous recalled to Rolling Stone
: "( It was) one of the routines we were trying to come up with in the house. By the time we were with Tommy Boy we were able to give it a better beat, give it a better keyboard, and it wound up becoming a song that talked about things that happen in the ghettos of America. We said, 'Let's make sure we have something like "The Message
" from Grandmaster Flash, like, wow, that's a whole other level of looking at things.' I think it was important for us, already being known from our singles as being funny and witty, to have something like that added as well."