“The Magic Number” is the seventh and last single released from 3 Feet High and Rising, the debut studio album by De La Soul.
3 Feet High and Rising was released on March 14, 1989, by Tommy Boy Records and Warner Bros. Records. It marked the first of three full-length collaborations with producer Prince Paul, which would become the critical and commercial peak of both parties. It is consistently placed on ‘greatest albums’ lists by noted music critics and publications. Robert Christgau called the record “unlike any rap album you or anybody else has ever heard.”
Critical, as well as commercial, success, the album contains the singles, “Me Myself and I”, “The Magic Number”, “Buddy”, and “Eye Know”. In 2001, the album was re-issued along with an extra disc of B-side tracks, and alternative versions. The album title came from the Johnny Cash song “Five Feet High and Rising”. It was selected by the Library of Congress as a 2010 addition to the National Recording Registry, which selects recordings annually that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.