RTB Rewind: De La Soul's 'Bulhoone Mind State' Floats Onto the Scene


On Sept. 21, 1993, De La Soul (Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Maseo) dropped their eclectic third album Buhloone Mind State (a phonetic spelling of balloon). Its arrival came at a transformative time in Hip-Hop, a year after Dr. Dre re-arranged rap's sound with The Chronic, and months before Snoop Dogg would drop his classic debut, Doggystyle, continuing Death Row's ascension.

Even still, De La wasn't concerned with anything beyond further exploring their jazz-infused sound (jazz legend Maceo Parker is featured on two tracks) and delving into their left-of-center take on musicality, lyricism, and philosophies. Less zany than their previous releases, the album showcases their maturation. It's also their last project with Prince Paul, bringing a close to their early career "trilogy."

“This time out, the peace of mind was cool,” Posdnous told Vibe in 1993. “We dealt with the stuff we had to deal with on the second record... we didn’t care; we said, ‘Let’s go back to ‘Buggin’ Out' .... We had so much fun in the studio creating itThe mistakes we made on this album? We left them in, ’cause they sounded cool.”

Basically, they weren't trying to fit in, they were content to wade deeper into themselves, and immerse their sound in the truths they'd discovered following their first two highly-acclaimed releases, 1989's definitive 3 Feet High and Rising and 1991's declarative De La Soul Is Dead. The result was a smart, bold project that, once again, stretched and tested the boundaries of Hip-Hop.

It's an album that stands as a testament to some of the best attributes the groundbreaking collective offers.