De La Soul have announced that their albums are finally becoming available to stream.
The legendary hip hop trio – comprised of Dave ‘Trugoy the Dove’ Jolicoeur, Kelvin ‘Posdnuos’ Mercer and Vincent Lamont Mason Jr. aka Maseo – revealed in an Instagram Live that their full back catalogue, most of which has never been legally available on streaming services, is coming to all major platforms later in 2021.
The news follows Reservoir Music’s $100 million acquisition of the group’s original label Tommy Boy Records earlier this year.
Jolicoeur said: “We’re thrilled. We have come to a deal between ourselves and Reservoir to release our music in 2021 — our catalogue will be released this year, we are working diligently with the good folks at Reservoir, and we sat down with them and got it done pretty quickly actually. Our music will be released in 2021 on all streaming platforms – we’re trying to get the whole catalog out there. It’ll take a minute … a little minute … November.”
Mason added: “Just be clear, business was done fair … and with regard to how unique this situation was.”
De La Soul encountered difficulties with Tommy Boy due to several lawsuits being brought against the band regarding the clearance of samples used on the group’s tracks with 1989 debut album ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ notably being targeted with legal action.
A spokesperson for Reservoir issued a statement to Variety regarding the streaming deal, which read: “Reservoir couldn’t be happier to come to an agreement with De La Soul, one of the most important groups in the history of hip-hop, and it’s an honor to partner with them and make these classic albums available to the fans after all this time.”
Mason, 51, addressed the issue with samples not being cleared back in 2019, admitting that it was difficult to predict the legal problems De La Soul’s music would attract back when they started out in the 1980s.
Appearing on SiriusXM’s ‘Sway in the Morning’ radio show, the ‘Me Myself and I’ hitmaker said: “For some years, the catalogue had been held up because … of the issues that existed behind the projects, with samples not being cleared.
“I don’t know what [Tommy Boy’s] deals were with clearing samples, but back then a lot was probably done on a handshake, especially when you’re an independent label.
“Nothing comes to the surface until it actually turns into something. If I was the record company at that time, I would have probably thought it was a small thing and not cleared it, ‘This little 30-second thing, who would come after that?’ And it happened!”
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