Yo Ho, WeRCatz here!
The hip-hop trio De La Soul will finally release their first six albums on streaming services starting in March.
This is a long time coming and hip-hop fans are excited to hear De La Soul and their classic hits that stand the tests of time. The reason for their announcement is because of their dispute with Tommy Boy Records. Warner Records was the original owner of De La Soul’s catalog until 2017 when Tommy Boy Records acquired them. Warner Bros couldn’t release the music because of the vagueness of the contracts: releasing physical copies is fine but streaming services were like Buck Roger’s technology at the time. The trio wanted to release their catalog to the now real streaming services starting in 2019 but Tommy Boy wanted to give De La Soul only ten percent of the revenue while keeping the remaining ninety percent for themselves! So, negotiations broke down until 2020 when Tommy Boy wanted to discuss another contract.
When word of the contract dispute broke, rappers like Nas, Questlove, and Pete Rock called for a boycott of Tommy Boy Records. Their mission: they wanted De La Soul to release their music for everyone. To this point, Benjy Grinberg (head of Rostrum Records) wanted to purchase Tommy Boy so that the master recordings would return to De La Soul’s possession.
Then on June 4, 2021, Tommy Boy Records was acquired by Reservoir Media for 100 million dollars. Two months later, Talib Kweli announced that De La Soul finally recovered their ownership of their music.
Flash forward to January 3, 2023. The trio announced that their music will now be released on audio streaming services this coming March 3. They also announced that their catalog will also have physical reissues on vinyl and cassette tape starting with their debut album “3 Feet High And Rising.” This album will turn 34 on March 3.
Hip-hop fans are rejoicing and can’t wait for De La Soul. For now, their vinyl release is on pre-order at various sites. I will be ready to purchase a copy and reminisce on “Me, Myself and I.”