De La Soul Discuss Tommy Boy Dispute on ‘Drink Champs’


As you may have heard, De La Soul are currently in the middle of a dispute with Tommy Boy Records over the long-overdue streaming release of their early catalog. It’s a crime that classic albums like 3 Feet High and Rising and Buhloone Mindstate aren’t available on streaming platforms (or even iTunes), but an even bigger crime that Tommy Boy offered De La a paltry 10% of the profits as part of the proposed release. The group recently announced that the release has been postponed while negotations continue.

Read more after the jump…

In this 30-minute clip from their upcoming Drink Champs episode, the Long Island sit down with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN to discuss their beef with Tommy Boy in more depth. Maseo explains that Tommy Boy founder Tom Silverman (aka “individual number one”) approached them with the proposal after acquiring the rights to their first six albums from Warner Bros. Records. However, the deal soon hit a gridlock when De La (understandably) turned down his 90-10 offer.

“[Tom] presented an option — the option we’ve spoken about — that we felt was unfavorable. It was either we do this, [or] if we didn’t respond in a certain time, then he would resort back to the original contracts,” Mase explains. “We responded like we were supposed to. It was supposed to go from there but we didn’t get any communication going until the final hour.” He adds, “Speaking in the final hour, [Tom] didn’t want to make any changes on what he presented.”

Trugoy confirms that the group’s long-standing sample issues are effecting the deal, but suggests sample clearances are pending.

Since making their dispute with Tommy Boy public, De La have received an outpouring of support from the hip-hop community, including Nas, Questlove and JAY-Z (TIDAL won’t be streaming the albums until the dispute has been resolved). “It made the decision feel right,” Mase says. “Especially for somebody like Hov, who I can honestly say I’ve maybe been in the room with him three times my whole career, and we just know each other through the music. That spoke volumes.”

Their end goal in all of this, Mase says, is simply to own their catalog: “That’d make it easy to show up for work and do what we need to do.” Trugoy adds, “We’re just fighting for the fact that we can possibly leave this stuff to our families.”

Watch the clip below and stay tuned for the full episode premiering on Revolt TV on March 28 and on YouTube on March 29.

Related: De La Soul Reveal Tommy Boy Records Robbing Them Of Streaming Royalties





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