I can't make any sense of these lyrics. My guess is that he is rapping about somebody having stolen his lyrics or something? Who was that? Somebody famous? I really have made significant efforts to research this prior to asking.

Album: "3 Feet High and Rising". Lyrics: https://songmeanings.com/songs/view/3530822107858803589/

Some people were mentioning this song and something about a major controversy, but I've not been able to find out anything about it. Possibly "Beastie Boys" were the ones who stole the lyrics?


3 Answers 3


The band themselves support your view that the song is about being ripped off by other artists :

Rolling stone interview with De La Soul , 2009 , looking back at "3 feet high and rising"

"The song is about other rappers thieving De La Soul's rhymes. Trugoy told Rolling Stone: "'Potholes in my Lawn' was like another way to say beat-biter or sucker MC, like songs from Run-DMC, songs from MC Lyte. The lawn was our rhymes and the potholes were the pieces missing."

Addition : I can't find any record of public disputes between De La Soul and MC Lyte or Run-DMC, or information about specific tracks which borrow rhymes from their songs.

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    You probably can't find anything lodged publicly because there was never anything valid to begin with. I am sure sentiment like this exists for all lesser-successful bands. Everyone hates on the king of the hill. Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 16:42

The lyrics seem pretty clear to me as a typical rap genre theme, denigrating people who steal rhymes. I don't read anything in the verses that indicate an actual person or situation, though it's fair to ask. I would just assume that as rap artists grow up and perform, others will rip off or riff on their stuff, just like stand up comedians do. It's a common refrain in lots of tracks.

Also, given that 3 Feet High was De La's debut album, I very much doubt any prominent artists would have had a chance to bite any of their rhymes while they were writing or recording them. But I don't know that for sure.

Side note: I enjoyed the songs questionable rhyme of "mot" (French for "word") with "ink-blot." Fun, because Trugoy is Haitian American and speaks French and Creole.


Beat Biter is a song by MC Lyte about rappers stealing beats

Sucker MC’s is a song by Run DMC about wack MC’s biting (stealing) rhymes.

Potholes in my Lawn is about the same theme

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