Good news and bad news in the world of De La Soul. Their full catalog, including classic albums like 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead and Buhloone Mindstate, is finally coming to streaming platforms (and presumably digital retailers), but De La Soul say they're getting a massively unfair deal from their former label Tommy Boy Records in the process.
De La wrote about the label drama in a series of Instagram posts. The first one reads, "Dear fans... just got off the phone with Tommy Boy Records... negotiations (or lack thereof) to release our catalog on all streaming platforms. Uh Oh." They then posted, "Dear fans... just got wind that Tommy Boy was not happy about our last post. Touche. We are not happy about releasing our catalog under such unbalanced, unfair terms. #Respecttheartist." In the caption, they added, "For our fans to finally be able to stream and/or download our music will be a dream come true! The reality for De La... what an ugly greedy nightmare."
In a final post, De La said, "Dear fans... the music WILL be released digitally. After 40 long years of good music and paying their debt to Hip Hop, De La Soul unfortunately, will not taste the fruit of their labor. Your purchases will roughly go 90% Tommy Boy, 10% De La. Thank you. Sincerely yours, #thephantom2milliondollardebt." They added in the caption, "Don’t feed the Vultures, support and respect the culture #30years If you wanna support De La Soul, cop the #grinddate and #anonymousnobody albums." (Their 2004 album The Grind Date and 2016 album and the Anonymous Nobody... have already been available on digital platforms.)
De La also appear to break the news of new music in the same post. They write, "Coming soon: De La Soul, Pete Rock, and DJ Premier 2019!!!" That sounds promising!
No word yet on when the De La Soul albums will hit streaming services, but stay tuned. However, their classic 1989 debut, 3 Feet High and Rising, is getting a 30th anniversary via Vinyl Me Please on double, splatter-colored vinyl and remastered from the original tapes. Learn more here.
De La are also touring with Wu-Tang, including a California show (that also has Eric B & Rakim and The Pharcyde on the bill), and the European "Gods of Rap" tour that also has Public Enemy.
Listen to Spotify streams of Grind Date and Anonymous Nobody: