At long last, De La Soul are bringing their back catalog to streaming services. The group recently acquired the rights to their masters, finally giving the hip-hop luminaries the opportunity to make their music digitally available on their terms.
“Our catalog will be released this year, we are trying to work hard and diligently along with the good folks up at Reservoir. We sat down and we got it done pretty quick actually — maybe in two weeks’ time tops,” said Dave “Trugoy the Dove” Jolicoeur on Instagram Live. “Music will be released [in] 2021 on all streaming platforms — we’re trying to get the whole catalog out there. There’s a lot of back work that needs to be done, so that’s why it’s taking a little time to get that out.” Watch the full announcement below.
Earlier this week, Talib Kweli revealed De La Soul finally own the masters to the music they put out while signed to Tommy Boy Records, which includes their classics 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, and Stakes Is High. Due to sample clearance issues and label disputes with Warner and Tommy Boy, none of the New York trio’s music before 2004 has ever made it to streaming services.
In February 2019, Tommy Boy acquired the group’s masters from Warner, but plans to bring their first six albums to streaming services were put on the backburner when De La Soul pushed back on the move and revealed they would only be receiving 10% of the profits. Subsequent negotiations with Tommy Boy broke down, and no further progress was made until music rights company Reservoir acquired the label for $100 million in June.
At the time, a representative for the company promised Reservoir would work with De La Soul “to bring the catalog and the music back to the fans.” Thankfully, it didn’t take too long for both parties to work something out.