The records from De La Soul’s iconic discography may be coming to streaming services soon.
Earlier this week, Tommy Boy Music — the record label who held the group’s music hostage over the years — was acquired by Reservoir Media. With De La Soul’s hits now in Reservoir’s possession, the company announced that they’re willing to work with the group and make their catalog available to their fans.
Reservoir’s $100,000 acquisition ends a years-long fight between De La Soul and executives of their former record label, Tommy Boy Music.
The rap group — who has made their money from touring and merchandise — has attempted on numerous occasions to negotiate the terms of their unclear deal and get themselves released from the contract altogether, but their efforts were constantly met with rejections.
On one occasion, Tommy Boy’s founder, Tom Silverman, reportedly offered them a deal that would give them only 10% of streaming revenue. The split, Silverman explained, was low because the label factored in costs for their many uncleared samples, deducting that price/percentage from their payments. De La Soul declined the deal, and the group never got the rights to their music.
“We realize, there is a process in reclaiming ownership but we do not trust Tommy Boy in this process after so many years of disappointment,” the rap trio captioned a 2019 Instagram post. “Therefore, our catalog will not see the light of day by way of our involvement or consent.”
Now, with Reservoir owning their catalog, the rap group may finally be able to acquire their masters, get paid for their music and have songs like “Plug Tunin’,” “The Magic Number,” “Eye Know,” and “Me, Myself and I” on streaming services.