De La Soul can finally celebrate. After decades of fighting Tommy Boy Records for their iconic catalog, Posdnuos, Dave and Maseo have officially won back the rights to the master recordings of albums such as 1989’s 3 Feet High & Rising and 1991’s De La Soul Is Dead.
On Monday (August 9), Maseo shared a post on his Instagram account that read, “Come Celebrate The Great News #A.O.I./Reservoir Records @resevoirmedia.” The group also revealed they’d be going live on Instagram at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday (August 10) to discuss the recent development.
But there’d been signs a ceremonious end to De La Soul’s hard-fought battle was on the horizon. In June, Tommy Boy Records was acquired by music-rights company Reservoir for a whopping $100 million.
According to Variety, the deal included more than 6,000 masters, including Hip Hop staples such as Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise,” House of Pain’s “Jump Around” and Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force’s “Planet Rock.”
Considering De La Soul’s masters were part of that deal, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before their classic albums appeared on digital streaming platforms. In fact, a rep for Reservoir said confidently, “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.”
In 2019, De La Soul publicly called out Tommy Boy founder Tom Silverman for his questionable business practices. At the time, Maseo, Dave and Posdnuos revealed negotiations between the two parties had resulted in 90 percent of De La Soul’s streaming revenue going to Tommy Boy and 10 percent to the group, a deal they weren’t going to accept.
Consequently, The Roots’ Questlove kicked off the #TommyBoycott hashtag while De La Soul begged fans not to stream any of their Tommy Boy albums.
In an August 2019 statement to HipHopDX, Maseo wrote in all caps, “TOMMY BOY ARE NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF GIVING PUBLISHING AND MASTERS!”
But evidently, Reservoir is.