Transmitting Live from Mars

Album: 3 Feet High and Rising (1989)

Songfacts®:

  • The original concept behind De La Soul was that Mase was PA and Posdnuos and Dove were the microphone plugs, transmitting messages from Mars. The idea was quickly abandoned but was used for the title of this short skit.
  • The short interlude is basically a French language lesson merged with a loop culled from The Turtles "You Showed Me" and Wilson Pickett's version of "Hey Jude." Posdnous recalled to Rolling Stone: "My pops had this 45 - I don't know why he had this record - it was this French instructional record. I thought it would sound cool with this Wilson Pickett cover of 'Hey Jude,' and then Paul had the Turtles record ['You Showed Me'], so he said let's put that with it, so we just added it all together."
  • The Turtles sample resulted in a $1.7 million copyright-infringement lawsuit that was eventually settled out of court. The legal action also set a precedent, which stymied hip-hop's methods of production. The new laws delayed a number of albums, including the trio's follow-up, De La Soul is Dead. When the record was finally released it was stripped of many samples and struggled to repeat the success of 3 Feet High.

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