De La Soul Now Owns All the Rights to Their Music

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Fans of legendary Hip Hop trio De La Soul will soon be able to stream the group’s entire catalog.

Two years ago, the group had asked fans not to stream the bulk of its catalog following a tense standoff with former label, Tommy Boy Records, who owned the majority of De La Soul’s back catalog.

The news was announced by “Ladies and gentlemen I spoke to @djmaseo from the legendary @wearedelasoul today and it’s official,” Kweli wrote.

“After years of being taken advantage by the recording industry in the worst possible ways, De La Soul now owns all the rights to their masters and is in full control of the amazing music they have created. Let’s salute Plugs 1, 2 and 3 for sticking to their guns and showing us that we can all beat the system if we come together as a community. Let’s hear it for black ownership of black art! Congratulations fellas.”

The news follows Reservoir Media’s acquisition of Tommy Boy Music for nearly $100 million. Reservoir Media acquired Tommy Boy’s vast catalog in the deal, including the rights to six De La Soul albums.

In 2019, the label had planned a rollout of the group’s Tommy Boy-era LPs – including classics 1989’s “3 Feet High and Rising,” “De La Soul Is Dead,” and “Buhloone Mindstate” across streaming platforms.

However, the plans were delayed after the label only offered the group just 10% of the profits. Months later, De La announced they had parted ways with the label after three decades.

In a statement, the group said, “we are sad to say that we’ve been unable to reach an agreement and earn Tommy Boy’s respect for our music/legacy.”

The last reported offer being a 70-30 split—in favor of the label. Tommy boy also tried to tack on a $2 million “debt,” which would require 20% of the 30% split to go towards the balance of the said debt.

De La Soul urged people not to stream their back catalog connected to Tommy Boy, stating, “be aware, all parties involved will profit but De La Soul will not benefit or earn deservedly/fairly,” adding “we wish Tommy Boy no ills but we do call for a boycott of anything bearing the name.”

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