Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)

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Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 9, 1993
LabelPendulum/Elektra Records
ProducerIshmael "Butterfly" Butler
Shane "The Doctor" Faber
Mike "Launching An Attack" Mangini
Digable Planets chronology
Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)
Blowout Comb
Singles from Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)
  1. "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)"
    Released: November 9, 1992
  2. "Where I'm From"
    Released: April 1993
  3. "Nickel Bags"
    Released: August 26, 1993

Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) is the debut album by alternative hip hop group Digable Planets. It was released on February 9, 1993, by Pendulum/Elektra Records.


The album was produced by Digable Planets' Ishmael Butler ("Butterfly") and features raps from Butler, Irving and Viera.[2] The production leans heavily on jazz samples, Butler explaining that “it was all about resources, really...I just went and got the records that I had around me. And a lot of those were my dad’s shit, which was lots of jazz. The whole concept of ‘We’re a jazz group’ didn’t go down like that. Except that DJ Premier was a big influence, and he sampled a lot of jazz.”[3]

Lyrically, the tone of the album is less overtly political than its successor Blowout Comb, but still touches on issues such as abortion rights (La Femme Fetal) and the drug abuses of jazz musicians (Last of the Spiddyocks). The album title derives from Nueva refutación del tiempo ("A New Refutation of Time"), an essay by Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges, as well as the tendency of earlier jazz musicians in naming their albums (Moanin', Cookin', etc).[4]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[5]
Chicago Tribune3.5/4 stars[6]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[7]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[8]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[12]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[13]
The Village VoiceA[14]

The single "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" became a hit in 1993, breaking into the Top 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart[15] and winning Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1994. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1993.

In 1998, Reachin' was listed in The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.[16]

In 2008, "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" was ranked number 62 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.[17]

The song "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" was used for a Tide commercial in 2009.

Butler and Irving give a track-by-track account of the album and its production in Brian Coleman's book Check the Technique.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Digable Planets.

1."It's Good to Be Here"5:06
3."Where I'm From"4:35
4."What Cool Breezes Do"3:22
5."Time & Space (A New Refutation Of)"3:33
6."Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)"4:22
7."Last of the Spiddyocks"4:28
8."Jimmi Diggin' Cats"3:42
9."La Femme Fetal"4:36
10."Escapism (Gettin' Free)"3:24
11."Appointment at the Fat Clinic"2:58
12."Nickel Bags"3:19
13."Swoon Units"4:00
14."Examination of What"4:44


Chart (1993) Peak
US Billboard 200[18] 15
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[19] 5


  1. ^
  2. ^ AllMusic: "Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)"
  3. ^ a b Coleman, Brian (2007). Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 391–2. ISBN 978-0812977752.
  4. ^ Coleman, pg. 401
  5. ^ Samuelson, Sam. "Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) – Digable Planets". AllMusic. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  6. ^ Kot, Greg (February 11, 1993). "Digable Planets: Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) (Pendulum)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  7. ^ Linden, Amy (February 5, 1993). "Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  8. ^ Siegmund, Heidi (February 21, 1993). "Digable Planets: 'Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)' Pendulum/Elektra". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  9. ^ "Digable Planets: Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)". NME: 31. February 13, 1993.
  10. ^ Pearce, Sheldon (February 23, 2018). "Digable Planets: Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  11. ^ Powell, Kevin (February 18, 1993). "Digable Planets: Reachin: A New Refutation Of Time And Space". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 22, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  12. ^ Malley, David (2004). "Digable Planets". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 237–38. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  13. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 9, 1993). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  15. ^ Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) - Digable Planets
  16. ^ The Source 100 Best Rap Albums & Singles
  17. ^ Stereogum: VH1’s 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs
  18. ^ "Digable Planets Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  19. ^ "Digable Planets Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 6, 2018.