De La Soul has one of the most-celebrated album discographies in rap history. 1989’s 3 Feet High and Rising, 1991’s De La Soul Is Dead, and 2016’s and the Anonymous Nobody… are often referred to as classics by Hip Hop aficionados.
Despite that critical success, Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Maseo did not have ownership of their back catalog. Tommy Boy Records reportedly bought the rights to the Long Island group’s masters in 2017 which led to the trio revealing they would only receive 10% of the revenue generated from music streams while the record label would receive 90%.
A 2019 statement on De La Soul’s verified Instagram page read, in part, “We are fighting for our livelihood.” Numerous Hip Hop legends like Nas, Pete Rock, and Questlove began promoting the #TommyBoycott campaign in support of De La Soul.
Reservoir Media acquired Tommy Boy for $100 million, and the music company was said to be working with De La Soul to get their music on streaming platforms. In June, a rep for Reservoir Media stated, “We have already reached out to De La Soul and will work together to bring the catalog and the music back to the fans.”
There appears to be a major update in regards to the ownership of Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Maseo’s intellectual property. Brooklyn-bred rapper/podcaster Talib Kweli took to Instagram to share some news about the “Me Myself and I” hitmakers.
According to the Javotti Media founder, the members of De La Soul are currently in “full control of the amazing music they have created.” Talib Kweli wrote:
Ladies and gentlemen, I spoke to @djmaseo from the legendary @wearedelasoul today and it’s official… after years of being taken advantage by the recording industry in the worst possible ways, De La Soul now owns all the rights to their masters and is in full control of the amazing music they have created. Let’s salute Plugs 1, 2, and 3 for sticking to their guns and showing us that we can all beat the system if we come together as a community. Let’s hear it for Black ownership of Black art! Congratulations fellas.@talibkweli Instagram