De La Soul’s Music Will Return to Streaming Services, New Label Says

With 1989’s “Three Feet High and Rising,” the Long Island rap trio De La Soul created one of the truly groundbreaking albums in hip-hop history, bringing a happy, psychedelic, flower-bedecked vibe — dubbed “the D.A.I.S.Y. Age” — to a genre that had largely been aggressive and confrontational. But the album and the group’s early recordings have been mired in legal issues with its label, Tommy Boy Records, stemming both from their extensive use of uncleared samples — a field that was an unexplored Wild West at the time — and the group’s contract with the company, which the members signed when they were teenagers.

Consequently, the group’s classic early recordings are not available on streaming services; the group claimed in 2019 that it would receive just 10% of streaming revenue and declined to sign off. Along with much of the Aaliyah catalog, it remains one of the few remaining major-artist holdouts from streaming services.

But with Reservoir’s $100 million acquisition announced Friday morning, all that appears to be changing: A spokesperson for Reservoir tells Variety, “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.”

More to come…


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