What do you think of when you think of hip hop and gangsta rap? It’s a genre typically – though not consistently – grounded in the ‘guns, b*tches and bling’ thematics, when it’s not focusing on civil or political elements. Arrested Development – formed by the hip hop artists Speech and Headliner – decided to take the genre on a different route: one of spirituality, of peace and of positivity . Their début album 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of was released in 1992 and peaked at #3 in the UK charts and #7 in the US, selling Platinum in both countries (quadruple in the US).
The name of the album refers to the length of time it took from the group to form to when they secured a recording contract, and it’s resounding success – both critically and commercially – paved the way for a fruitful career for the group, who still perform and release today, with a strong fanbase. The secret is the music, praised globally for its warping of the genre, and the messages within.
Why do you need this LP?
This album is one of the releases which kick-started the popularity of the genre of Southern (American) Hip Hop, when the genre was previously dominated by East and West Coast artists. It is incredibly pougnant for the genre, the catalyst for the spreading of a movement and standing in stark contrast thematically to its competitors. Aside from that, it is a beautiful album that stirs feelings of warmth, empowerment and strength. Something that should be experienced by all.