Legendary hip-hop trio De La Soul — Posdnuos, Trugoy and Maseo — have been locked in a battle with Tommy Boy Music for years to regain control of their masters. Now, according to Talib Kweli, it’s mission accomplished for The Plugs.
“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,” Kweli wrote in an Instagram post over the weekend, writing that Maseo had confirmed the news. “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.”
The news may not come as a huge surprise, since just two months ago, Reservoir Media acquired the Tommy Boy for close to $100 million. They also gained ownership of Tommy Boy’s catalog, which includes six De La Soul albums: 3 Feet High And Rising (1989), De La Soul Is Dead (1991), and Buhloone Mindstate (1993), Stakes Is High (1996), Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump (2000), and AOI: Bionix (2001). A spokesperson for Reservoir also confirmed that the new label ownership would mean that De La Soul’s catalog would at last come to streaming platforms. “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,” a Reservoir rep told Variety.
As Uproxx’s Aaron Williams pointed out recently, the only two De La albums currently available to stream are 2004’s The Grind Date, released under Sanctuary Records, and their crowdfunded 2016 album And The Anonymous Nobody.