me myself & i – The Quintessential Ode to Authenticity in Hip-Hop


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for De La Soul's me myself & i at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Beat of Individualism in a Collective World
  5. Challenging Hip-Hop’s Cultural Script
  6. Decoding the Lyrics: ‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall’
  7. The Hidden Meaning of ‘Plug’ Personas
  8. Memorable Lines: ‘Glory, glory hallelu’

Lyrics

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Tell me, mirror, what is wrong?
Can it be my de la clothes
Or is it just my de la song?

What I do ain’t make-believe
People say I sit and try
But whan it comes to being de la

It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I

Now you tease my plug one style
And my plug one spectacles
You say plug one and two are hippies
No, we’re not, that’s pure plug bull

Always pushing that we’ve formed an image
There’s no need to lie
When it comes to being plug one

It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I

Proud, I’m proud of what I am
Poems I speak are plug two type
Please oh please let plug two be
Himself, not what you read or write

Right is wrong when hype is written
On the soul, de la that is,
Style is surely our own thing
Not the false disguise of showbiz

De la soul is from the soul
And this fact I can’t deny
Strictly from the dan called stuckie
And from me myself and I

It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I

Glory, glory hallelu
Glory for plugs one and two
But that glory’s been denied
By kizids and dookie eyes

People think they dis my person
By stating I’m darkly pack
I know this so I point at q-tip
And he states, ‘black is black’

Mirror mirror on the wall,
Shovel chestnuts in my path
Please keep on up with the nuts
So I don’t get in aftermath

But if I do I’ll calmly punch them
In the fourth day of July
‘Cause they tried to mess with
Third degree, that’s me myself and I

It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I

Full Lyrics

Upon its release, ‘Me Myself & I’ by De La Soul not only topped the charts but also etched a permanent spot in the annals of hip-hop history. This track isn’t merely a song; it’s a manifesto, a daring proclamation of individuality against an era rife with genre stereotypes and image conformity. The poetic trio from Long Island delivered a message that resonated deeply with those yearning to express their true selves, regardless of societal expectations.

At its core, ‘Me Myself & I’ serves as an anthem for self-acceptance and the rejection of external labels, packaged in the group’s characteristic playful yet poignant lyrical style. What might at first listen appear to be a light-hearted jam is, in truth, a profound statement on identity, creativity, and the struggle for genuine self-expression in a world obsessed with categorizing and packaging artists.

The Beat of Individualism in a Collective World

Through its infectious beat and catchy hook, ‘Me Myself & I’ disguises its depth, crafting a vibrant soundscape that invites listeners to groove along while pondering the heavier existential questions presented in the verses. The song’s relentless affirmation of self (‘It’s just me myself and I’) serves as both a chorus and a mantra, reinforcing the idea that despite pressures to conform, one’s sense of self remains intact and should be celebrated.

De La Soul’s intentions were clear: to differentiate themselves from the gangsta rap hegemony dominating the late 1980s. Instead of falling in line with the era’s aggressive bravado, they chose whimsy and introspection, literally wearing their nonconformity like a badge of honor — or in their case, ‘de la clothes’ and ‘plug one spectacles.’

Challenging Hip-Hop’s Cultural Script

In a playground filled with dominant narratives of what hip-hop should be, ‘Me Myself & I’ pushes back, calling out the force-fed image of artists as ‘street-tough’ or ‘gangster.’ When they rap, ‘Always pushing that we’ve formed an image / There’s no need to lie,’ it’s a resistance against industry forces and media portrayals that distill their identity to fit a pre-written script.

De La Soul’s embodiment of the ‘D.A.I.S.Y. Age’ (Da Inner Sound, Y’all) with their bohemian flair was more than an aesthetic choice; it was a revolutionary act in the realm of hip-hop, where deviation from the norm could mean commercial suicide. Their success, however, proved there was room for diversity within the genre’s ranks.

Decoding the Lyrics: ‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall’

The repeated invocation of the ‘mirror’ throughout the song is a confronting trope, challenging listeners to reflect on their own perceptions and the judgments they cast upon others. By questioning what is deemed ‘wrong’ — is it their clothes, their song, or something deeper? — De La Soul touches on the universal struggle with identity and the forces that shape it, ultimately defying externally imposed definitions.

This mirrors a larger societal motif where what’s reflected back to us often comes with cultural biases and prescribed identities. De La Soul cleverly unpacks this, urging a closer look at the superficial factors used to define worth and artistic integrity.

The Hidden Meaning of ‘Plug’ Personas

Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Maseo, known as Plug One, Two, and Three respectively, weave into their lyrics a subtle critique of homogenization within the hip-hop community. ‘Plug’ speaks to their connection with the audience — an electric current of authentic self-expression. Yet in stating ‘When it comes to being plug one / It’s just me myself and I,’ they affirm their identity as artists and as individuals, not merely characters played out on the hip-hop stage.

Their insistence that ‘Style is surely our own thing / Not the false disguise of showbiz’ is a bold dismantling of the facade often demanded by the entertainment industry, calling for a focus on artistry that comes ‘from the soul’ rather than a manufactured persona.

Memorable Lines: ‘Glory, glory hallelu’

The song’s bridge is a powerful moment, with De La Soul reaching a crescendo of self-assertion that verges on the spiritual. ‘Glory, glory hallelu’ can be interpreted as an exclamation of inner triumph, finding pride and joy in staying true to oneself despite opposition (‘But that glory’s been denied / By kizids and dookie eyes’).

Even in the face of misunderstanding or outright prejudice (‘People think they dis my person / By stating I’m darkly pack’), De La Soul stands firm in their message and their identity, exemplified by the line ‘I know this so I point at Q-tip / And he states, ‘black is black’ — a solidarity in shared experience and an affirmation of self-worth that transcends the superficial critiques.

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