It is listed on Rolling Stone's 200 Essential Rock Records and The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums. When Village Voice held it's annual Pazz & Jop Critics Poll for 1989, 3 Feet High and Rising was ranked #1. It was also listed on the Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Released amid the 1989 boom in gangsta rap, which gravitated towards hardcore, confrontational, violent lyrics, de la Soul's uniquely positive style made them an oddity beginning with the first single, "Me, Myself and I".
Their positivity meant many observers labeled them a "hippie" group, based on their declaration of the "D.A.I.S.Y. Age" (Da. Inner. Soul. Yall). Sampling artists as diverse as Hall & Oates, Steely Dan and The Turtles, 3 Feet High and Rising is often viewed as the stylistic beginning of 1990s alternative hip hop (and especially jazz rap).