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Meaning of ‘Eye Know’ by ‘De La Soul’ feat. Otis Redding

Released: 1989 • Features: Otis Redding

Aight, let’s dive into “Eye Know” by De La Soul, featuring that soulful element from Otis Redding. At its core, this track is a youthful, jubilant symbol of love, couched in that unique Daisy Age vibe De La Soul brought to the table. Here, the trio relays their feelings and intent without coming across as too overbearing, blending a surreal mix of metaphors that dodge the typical romantic cliches, pulling you into a world that’s just as playful as it is profound.

We kick off with Posdnuos, or Plug One, stepping up to the mic, swinging a rap of sweet talk towards a girl. It’s a ‘Daisy Age’, a term De La Soul uses to encapsulate their own era of hip-hop – a push for positivity and love against the commercial and gangsta rap scenes. His reference to ‘Lottos’, serves as a nod towards popular sneakers of the time, grounding the verse in reality. The squashin’ other deals’ line suggests a commitment to exclusivity, while the ‘moods the same’ in the ‘frame’ signifies a harmonious connection.

Plug Two then makes his entrance, recognised as Trugoy, extending a hand to dance. He refers to himself as the ‘chosen one to speak’, exuding that confident yet humble energy. His ‘Daisy of your choice’ signifies his love, packaged within the daisies’ innocence. Referencing ‘other Jennys’ are past relationships that didn’t go anywhere, but now he’s focused on this one woman. He describes their imminent relationship as a ‘Magic Number’, an allusion to another De La song about harmony and unity in relationships.

In the third verse, the scope of the love theme expands to life itself. The ‘plantation of daisies’ signifies his love and affection sown just for her, and the reference to ‘Campbell Alphabet Soup’ could imply a comfortable domestic life together. He’s declaring that he’s gonna put his all into this relationship and that will be evident whether he expresses it through ‘gifts, words or letters’.

In the final verse, De La Soul bolt from the traditional to make a cosmic, playful proposal, hinting at taking her to Mars to be alone. The ‘arrow of cupid through the string of a G-clef’ shows that their love stems from a shared passion for music. In the end, they’re making a song just for two, which circles back to the original theme of the track: a love song that’s fresh, bold, and as colourful as the trio’s genre-breaking approach to hip-hop at the time.

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