De La Soul on Tommy Boy Postponing Digital Release, Wanting Jay-Z to Buy Catalog: Exclusive


On Thursday (Feb. 28), Variety reported that Tommy Boy Music would postpone the streaming launch of Da La Soul's catalog, which incorporates the group's first six albums. In what has been a "bittersweet" week for the rap trio, which will even be celebrating the 30th anniversary of its debut three Feet High and Rising this Sunday, the choice to halt the discharge of the catalog serves as an enormous win for the group.

"It's a victory," Pos, of De La Soul, tells Billboard. "It's nice that individuals who supported and understood what we imply to the tradition, whether or not it's somebody who's so expensive and near us like a Q-Tip, or somebody who may admire the strikes we've made creatively, however we ain't essentially been within the room with one another nothing however perhaps 3 times collectively, like a Jay-Z. You can have folks simply really feel like, 'Culturally, I assist and perceive the place they're coming from.'" 

After the group members vocalized their displeasure with what they deemed "unbalanced, unjust phrases" relating to Tommy Boy's proposed deal earlier this week, Jay-Z declared his allegiance to the trio by barring the catalog from launch on his TIDAL streaming service. 

"I spoke to [TIDAL's culture and content editorial director] Elliott [Wilson] and Elliott was like, 'Jay mentioned, 'What y'all attempting to do?,'" Maseo explains to Billboard. "I ain't gonna mislead you, I used to be torn as a result of I might need them to win with the catalog, simply based mostly on the place issues is at for highly effective black males. Jay may have been the one [to buy the catalog]. As far because the rivals and what individuals are making on streaming on a regular basis, I might need him to be the one to succeed with the catalog and actually go up in opposition to his rivals. He's TIDAL, canine. That's an incredible achievement, particularly with the place we come from and being part of this tradition. So, for it to not be on TIDAL, it speaks volumes."

Currently, De La Soul's catalog stays within the arms of Tommy Boy founder and CEO, Tom Silverman. Silverman signed the group through the late 1980s, and so they then launched their first two albums three Feet High and Rising and De La Soul Is Dead. Marred by pattern clearance points, the trio defined how they by no means benefited from the fruits of their labors, regardless of their initiatives seeing industrial success. "There's an asterik subsequent to our identify on the subject of sampling. We have been deemed copyright criminals," says Maseo. 

After a bevy of stars, together with Nas, Questlove and extra, shared their assist for De La, Silverman reached out to the group that signed together with his label within the late '80s in an effort to achieve a decision. According to the group, little progress has been made. 

"We've been bringing this to his consideration," says Maseo. "He's been ignoring us for a while, it simply acquired to the ultimate hour the place he anticipated to us to be on-board and make issues clean and dandy. When he lastly addressed it, there have been no adjustments in how he felt issues wanted to be. He used phrases like, 'what's customary" and 'what's customary.'"

He provides: "He can legally do what he desires, however the points that I raised [was that] in all that you simply're doing with what you're in a position to do, did you clear it? Did you clear these samples? When he acquired the catalog again, is it cleared? What he mentioned on the telephone was, 'If something comes up, we are going to take care of it the way in which we've handled it previously.' And what I do know that to be is that if a lawsuit comes up, we're gonna settle as a result of we're within the fallacious. I say we as a result of we do undergo from that."

This 12 months, De La Soul can be releasing their 10th album by way of Mass Appeal with manufacturing by DJ Premier and Pete Rock.