Due to sample clearance issues and label disputes with Warner Bros. Records and Tommy Boy Records, none of De La Soul’s music before 2004 had ever made it to streaming services.
In February 2019, Tommy Boy acquired the group’s master recordings from Warner, but plans to bring their first six albums to streaming services were scrapped when De La Soul pushed back on the move and revealed they would only be receiving 10% of the profits. Subsequent negotiations with Tommy Boy broke down, and no further progress was made until music rights company Reservoir acquired the label for $100 million in June 2021.
At the time, a representative for the company promised Reservoir would work with De La Soul “to bring the catalog and the music back to the fans.” True to their word, by August of 2021 De La Soul regained control of their master recordings.
De La Soul initially sought to upload their complete catalog to streaming services by the end of 2021. However, as there was “a lot of back work that need[ed] to be done,” that timeline was bumped by more than a year.
Finally, as of March 3rd, De La Soul’s albums 3 Feet High and Rising (1989), De La Soul Is Dead (1991), Buhloone Mindstate (1993), Stakes Is High (1996), Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump (2000), and AOI: Bionix (2001) are available on all major streaming platforms. Listen here.
Additionally, the group will release vinyl, CD, and cassette reissues via their label AOI and distributed by Chrysalis Records. The reissue of 3 Feet High and Rising is out today. Details on the other reissues are forthcoming.
De La Soul’s return to streaming is all the more bittersweet given the recent passing of co-founding member Trugoy the Dove. On Thursday night, surviving members Maseo and Posdnuos hosted a celebratory event at Webster Hall in New York City, where they honored Trugoy and “the influence and impact of De La Soul.” They were joined by Dave Chappelle, Queen Latifah, and others.
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) March 3, 2023
Hip-Hop celebrated the life of Dave and the legacy of @WeAreDeLaSoul TO! THE! FULLEST!🏆 This is why we cherish, celebrate and elevate this culture. De La Soul’s entire catalog available for streaming now. #trugoyforever🕊️🕊️🕊️
— Rock The Bells (@RockTheBells) March 3, 2023
Queen Latifah on the mic at the De La Soul Experience celebration tonight at Webster Hall in honor of their albums hitting DSPs. pic.twitter.com/acUjfAThuS
— Jayson (@jaysonrodriguez) March 3, 2023