5. De La Soul "Plug Tunin' (12" Version)" (1989)
Producer: De La Soul & Prince Paul
Album: 3 Feet High and Rising
Label: Tommy Boy/Warner Bros.
On first listen "Plug Tunin'" probably sounds muted, even placid, but in actuality it is a massive, genre-changing record. Pos and Dave debut their "Plug style of speak," a form of rapping that sounds easygoing and almost talky, but is also filled with dense metaphors and odd word choices. As a song on a demo tape, "Plug Tunin'" caught the attention of DJ and fellow North Amityville, Long Island, resident Prince Paul, convincing him that De La Soul were not the average local rap crew. As a 12" single, it ushered in the "D.A.I.S.Y. Age" and foretold the death of Kangol-and-Pumas superficial shout-rap.