Music / August 9, 2021

De La Soul now own their masters, says Talib Kweli

De La Soul, 1991 (Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
Music / August 9, 2021

De La Soul now own their masters, says Talib Kweli

Words: Dylan Murphy

Following years of disputes and not having control over their back catalogue, De La Soul now owns the rights to their music and it looks like it could be coming to streaming services.

Over the weekend, legendary rapper Talib Kweli headed to Instagram to share the news that fans wanted to hear. Having spoke directly to Maseo, one third of the iconic trio, De La Soul, Kweli confirmed in a post that the group now had control over their catalogue.

“Ladies and gentlemen I spoke to @djmaseo from the legendary @wearedelasoul today and it’s official,” Kweli announced.

“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.”

It comes after it was reported in June of this year that Reservoir Media “already reached out to De La Soul and will work together to the bring the catalogue and the music back to the fans.” The company purchased Tommy Boy Records for close to $100 million, meaning they now had ownership over the label’s catalogue which includes six of De La Soul’s albums.  

Until now, De La Soul has had continued legal issues with Tommy Boy Records, with much of their music being unavailable on streaming platforms due to uncleared samples, whilst there were also ongoing legal issues due to the trio’s contract with the company, which they signed as teenagers, Variety reports.

Alongside Aaliyah’s catalogue, their music remains some of the most high profile to not exist on streaming platforms.

For fans of De La Soul read our essential introduction to jazzy hip hop.

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