The Magic Number – Delving into the Triadic Essence of Hip-Hop Spirituality

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for De La Soul's The Magic Number at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. A Triad of Talent: The Symbolism in the Number Three
  5. Deciphering the ‘Da Inner Sound Y’all’: A Hidden Meaning
  6. Rebel with a Cause: Challenging Rap Conventions
  7. Soul Speakers and Heartfelt Freestyle – Memorable Lines That Stick
  8. Legacy of the Three-Point Stance – The Cultural Impact


(Got to have soul)

That’s the magic number
Yes, it is
It’s the magic number
Somewhere in this hip-hop soul community
Was born three, Mase, Dove and me
And that’s the magic number

(What does it all mean?)

Difficult preaching is Posdnuos’ pleasure
Pleasure and preaching starts in the heart
Something that stimulates the music in the measure
Measure in the music, raised in three parts
Casually see but don’t do like the Soul
‘Cause seein’ and doin’ are actions for monkeys
Doin’ hip hop hustle, no rock and roll
Unless your name’s Brewster, ’cause Brewster’s a Punky
Parents let go ’cause there’s magic in the air
Criticizing rap shows you’re out of order
Stop, look and listen to the phrasin’, Fred Astaires
And don’t get offended while Mase do-se-do’s your daughter
A tri-camera rolls since our music’s now set
Fly rhymes are stored on a DAISY production
It stands for “Da Inner Sound Y’all” and y’all can bet
That the action’s not a trick, but showing the function

(What does it all mean?)

Everybody wants to be a deejay
Everybody wants to be an emcee
But being speakers are the best
And you don’t have to guess
De La Soul posse consists of three
And that’s the magic number

This here piece of the pie
Is not dessert but the course that we dine
And three out of every darn time
The effect is “Mmmm” when a daisy grows in your mind
Showing true position, this here piece is
Kissin’ the part of the pie that’s missin’
Where that negative number fills up the casualty
Maybe you can subtract it
You can call it your lucky partner
Maybe you can call it your adjective
But odd as it may be
Without my one and two, where would there be?
My three, Mase Pos and Me
And that’s the magic number

(What does it all mean?)

Focus is formed by flaunts to the soul
Souls who flaunt styles gain praises by pounds
Common are speakers who honor the scroll
Scroll written daily creates a new sound
Listeners listen ’cause this here is wisdom
Wisdom of a Speaker, a Dove and a Plug
Set aside a legal substance to feed ’em
For now get ’em high off this dialect drug
Time is a factor so it’s time to count
Count not the negative actions of one
Speakers of soul say it’s time to shout
Three forms the soul to a positive sum
Dance to this fix and flex every muscle
Space can be filled if you rise like my lumber
Advance to the tune but don’t do the hustle
Shake, rattle, roll to my magic number

Now you may try to subtract it
But it just won’t go away
Three times one?
(What is it?)
(One, two, three)
And that’s the magic number

(Yo, what’s up?)
(One, two, three)
(I say, children, what does it all mean?)
(Whoa-whoa-whoa, one, two, three)
(I wouldn’t lie to you)
(No more no less, that’s the magic number)
(No more no less)
(What it is?)
(No more no less)
(Is this the future?)
(No more no less)
(Do the shang-a-lang)
(No more no less)
(Bloodclaat boy try fi chat to me)
(No more no less)
(Anybody in the audience ever get hit by a car?)
(No more no less)
(How high’s the water, mama?)
(No more no less)
(How high’s the water, mama?)
(No more no less)
(Three feet high and rising)
(No more no less)
(Three, that’s a magic number)

Full Lyrics

When De La Soul released ‘The Magic Number,’ it resonated through the hip-hop world with its catchy hook, layered meanings, and groovy beat. On the surface, it’s an anthem that celebrates the simple arithmetic of three, but dive a bit deeper and you’re swimming in a sea of metaphorical significance and sonic innovation.

The song is more than a simple count; it’s a deep dive into the fabric of life, music, and universal harmony. Treating each verse as a cryptic text, we unveil the sage wisdom imparted by the trio that chose to walk the path less traveled by mainstream hip-hop.

A Triad of Talent: The Symbolism in the Number Three

The recurring mention of the number three isn’t just a representation of the group members—Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Mase. While it underscores the trio, it also encapsulates the ethos of harmony, balance, and the power of the collective. De La Soul deftly uses numerical symbolism to highlight the strength of their collaboration and unity, contrasting against the lone-wolf image often portrayed in hip-hop culture.

By enshrining their collective identity within the magical aspects of the numeral, they make a statement about the importance of synergy over individuality. Whether it speaks to past, present, and future or mind, body, and spirit, ‘The Magic Number’ is a thesis on the holistic nature needed to navigate the complexities of the music industry and life.

Deciphering the ‘Da Inner Sound Y’all’: A Hidden Meaning

‘The Magic Number’ doesn’t shy away from mystique, subtly dropping acronymic gems like ‘DAISY production.’ This abbreviation expands to ‘Da Inner Sound Y’all,’ signaling the importance of an introspective approach to music creation. De La Soul isn’t making tracks; they’re crafting auditory experiences.

The symbolism extends to guide the listener towards self-reflection, with DAISY beckoning a look inside—to find the soulful beat within. The group urges us to recognize our parts in the triads of our lives, and the music powerfully suggests that within this inner sound lies true wisdom and understanding.

Rebel with a Cause: Challenging Rap Conventions

Rebelling against the status quo is woven into the very fabric of De La Soul’s identity, and ‘The Magic Number’ serves as their manifesto. By declaring ‘Seein’ and doin’ are actions for monkeys,’ De La Soul challenges their listeners to be thinkers and innovators, not imitators.

Rejecting the plagiarism that runs rampant in the industry, De La Soul emphasizes originality in ‘The Magic Number.’ Their lyrics caution against the danger of losing one’s unique voice in a sea of duplication, thus setting the stage for a hip-hop revolution rooted in individual creative expression.

Soul Speakers and Heartfelt Freestyle – Memorable Lines That Stick

Poignant and poetic, the lines of ‘The Magic Number’ marry cool cadence with deep meaning, creating stanzas that echo in the minds of listeners. ‘Everybody wants to be a DJ, everybody wants to be an MC, but being speakers are the best,’ captures the essence of the song—celebrating those who impart wisdom and truth beyond the technical skill of the craft.

‘A tri-camera rolls since our music’s now set’ is more than a cinematographic reference—it’s a nod to the layered vision that De La Soul brings to their art, seeing the world through the lenses of passion, intellect, and spirit. Through these lines, they announce their roles not just as rappers, but as seers of society’s soul.

Legacy of the Three-Point Stance – The Cultural Impact

Since its release, ‘The Magic Number’ has solidified its position as an iconic track that transcends the boundary of time. Its seamless blend of playful linguistic gymnastics and deep philosophical inquiry continues to resonate with hip-hop aficionados searching for something real.

The trio known as De La Soul didn’t just drop a track; they provided a blueprint for artistic integrity, showing that the third element—whether it’s the soul, the listener, or the meaning behind the music—is vital for completion. As new artists hunt for their magic number, they find inspiration in the foundational beats and truths laid down by these pioneers.

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