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De La Soul’s early albums finally coming to streaming service in March

By | Published on Tuesday 3 January 2023

De La Soul

De La Soul have announced that their first six albums will arrive on streaming services for the first time in March this year. This follows the acquisition of their former label Tommy Boy Music by Reservoir Media last year.

The legendary hip hop trio went public in 2019 about their negotiations with Tommy Boy and its founder Tom Silverman regarding getting the De La Soul albums released by the label streaming. They said that they could not accept the terms being offered by Silverman and that they were therefore ending all talks with the label.

This impasse continued, meaning that the group’s classic albums remained unavailable digitally. However, in June last year Tommy Boy was acquired by Reservoir, paving the way for negotiations to recommence.

In August, rapper Talib Kweli posted an update saying that he’d been told by De La Soul member Maseo that the group were now in control of their masters, after which Reservoir confirmed that it was working to bring their albums to streaming services.

Since then, things had gone quiet, with no sign of those albums being made available. However, it was confirmed today that we are now three months away from finally being able to stream them.

“We can’t believe this day is finally here”, say De La Soul in a statement. “We are excited to be able to share our music with fans, old and new. The Reservoir team have been great partners in this entire process. We’re grateful that our relationship with them all has enabled this to happen”.

Working with De La Soul’s own AOI label, Reservoir’s Chrysalis division will distribute the records: 1989’s ‘3 Feet High And Rising’, 1991’s ‘De La Soul Is Dead, 1993’s ‘Buhloone Mindstate’, 1996’s ‘Stakes Is High’, 2000’s ‘Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump’ and 2001’s ‘AOI: Bionix’. They will be reissued on 3 Mar – the 34th anniversary of the original release of ‘3 Feet High And Rising’.

“As someone who has devoted my life to hip hop for over 30 years, my relationship with the guys in De La Soul dates back to my early days in the industry, and I can attest to how influential their catalogue is to the genre”, says Faith Newman, Reservoir’s EVP A&R And Catalogue Development.

“When Reservoir acquired Tommy Boy, the first call we made was to De La Soul. We vowed to bring their music to streaming, and it means the world to our team to make good on that promise and expose a whole new generation of listeners to one of the most important catalogues in hip hop history”.

COO Rell Lafargue adds: “Bringing De La Soul’s music to streaming services is a big moment for Reservoir, Chrysalis and fans everywhere. We identified this opportunity when we were in the preliminary stages of acquiring Tommy Boy”.

“Over the past eighteen months, we have worked tirelessly with De La Soul, maintaining a heightened attention to honouring the group’s original musical details, including bringing [producer] Prince Paul and the original team to the studio to prepare the catalogue for streaming”, he continues.

“It is a real testament to our team and the group that we are able to execute these plans together. We couldn’t be prouder to embrace De La Soul’s historic artistry and support them in sharing their music with the world”.

As well as the digital releases, all six albums will be re-released in various physical formats throughout 2023 – starting with ‘3 Feet High And Rising’, also on 3 Mar. This month, on 13 Jan, the group will reissue their 1989 single ‘The Magic Number’ on vinyl, CD, and cassette.