De La Soul’s music headed to streaming, say Tommy Boy’s new owners
De La Soul's catalog is full of hip hop classics, but their '80s and '90s albums have been off of streaming services due to contract disputes between the band and their former label, Tommy Boy. Variety reports that there's hope on that front, though, as music rights company Reservoir has acquired Tommy Boy's catalog in a $100 million deal.
“We have already reached out to De La Soul and will work together to the bring the catalog and the music back to the fans,” Reservoir representatives tell Variety.
De La Soul's Tommy Boy records, including 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul is Dead, Stakes is High and more, were supposed to hit streaming services in 2019 but the group blocked it, claiming they were getting an unfair deal with the digital release of their music, saying that 90% of revenue would go to the label, leaving them with only 10%.
The band's early catalog is extra complicated due to their pioneering use of samples. 1989's 3 Feet High and Rising came out when sampling was still the wild west, but The Turtles sued over the use of their song "You Showed Me" on one of the album's skits, a case that was settled out of court for a reported $1.7 million and changed the way samples were cleared and credited. Its follow-up, De La Soul is Dead, was delayed due to this with many of its intended samples stripped out of the album. Original contracts included stipulations for vinyl, CD and cassettes but, obviously, not streaming. Let's hope they work it out.
Tommy Boy's hip hop catalog also includes albums by Queen Latifah, Afrika Bambaataa, Digital Underground, Coolio, House of Pain, Naughty By Nature, Stetsasonic, and more.