The 30 Greatest Months in Rap History

23. March 1989

Notable Events:
- De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising is released on 3/3/89
- Kool G Rap and DJ Polo's Road To The Riches is released on 3/14/89
- Geto Boys' Grip It! On That Other Level is released on 3/12/89

March 1989 was a weird one. In an era when major rap releases—be they anticipated albums or hyped debuts—weren't packed like sardines into calendar months yet, you might not find a weirder combination than the Spring of ’89: De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising was the next new thing, a critical and commercial success that was as unlikely an emergence in rap as the part of New York it emerged from: Long Island.

Not far from L.I., another March ’89 milestone had an unlikely breeding ground: Corona, Queens, the home turf of the Juice Crew's member-of-the-moment Kool G Rap. With DJ Polo by his side, G dropped Road To The Riches on the world, and more or less started mob rap in doing so—in other words, a world away from what De La Soul was up to. It was also far away—geographically and artistically—from Houston's Geto Boys and their sophomore album, Grip It! On That Other Level—a raunchy, gleefully violent and amoral release that solidified the group's path into hip-hop history, sealing up what may be the weirdest trifecta of great rap albums ever released in the same month. —Foster Kamer

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