De La Soul are discussing with their former record label, Tommy Boy, to bring their previous catalog to streaming services. In a series of Instagram messages from the rap trio, they expressed dismay over the terms of their contract with Tommy Boy. "We are not happy to publish our catalog in such unbalanced and unfair conditions," they wrote on February 26. In another article, they said, "The music will be digitally published. After 30 long years of good music and paying their debt to hip-hop, De La Soul unfortunately will not taste the fruits of their work. Your purchases will go to 90% Tommy Boy, 10% De La. Thank you. "
Today, they have released more statements via Instagram, claiming that Tommy Boy had not done the due diligence work yet to clear the samples from the latest catalog before planning to go live. "We are in the line of fire … De La Soul can not afford rushed business through negligence. We are fighting for our livelihood, "reads a legend. "Imagine you are trying to settle a phantom2milliondollardebt and that lawsuits are now hiding ??? Only 10% remains. De La Soul then revealed that Tidal would have agreed not to broadcast their catalog back in solidarity.
In an interview on "Sway in the Morning", De La Soul's Maseo explained that after the transfer of Tommy Boy's rights to Warner Bros. Records, potential breaches concerning the sample in De La Soul recordings have prevented the label from making them available via streaming. The De La Soul catalog has since been bought by Tommy Boy. Trugoy cited the lack of confidence of Tommy Boy's boss, Tom Silverman, in the band's early days. 3 feet tall and up as a reason why the samples have never been erased.
"Because Tommy Boy, Tom Silverman in particular, did not think that 3 feet tall and up was going to do well at all, "he told Sway. "For this reason, they decided not to erase everything." The group also said it would only see "pennies" in royalties once the albums were placed on streaming platforms. Find their complete appearance below.
Pitchfork contacted representatives of Tommy Boy for additional comments.
Read our Sunday review of De La Soul's 3 feet tall and up.