It's one of the most pressing questions about classic hip-hop in the streaming age: why can't you find De La Soul on digital music services?
The question - which no doubt has a complicated answer - is about to be a thing of the past. The trio confirmed Tuesday, Aug. 10 that their classic catalog would finally hit all services before the end of the year.
In an Instagram Live session that was initially, humorously beset by some technical difficulties - members Dave "Trugoy" Jolliceur, Kelvin "Posdnuos" Mercer and Vincent "Maseo" Mason struggled with getting into the same Live session - De La Soul confirmed rumors that began to swirl earlier this week when friend and rapper Talib Kweli suggested an agreement had finally been made to release the band's classic albums digitally - namely, six critically-acclaimed albums originally issued by Tommy Boy Records.
"Our catalog will be released this year," Trugoy said on the stream. "We are working diligently with the good folks at Reservoir, and we sat down with them and got it done pretty quickly actually." The group estimated the albums would be available sometime in November.
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The band's work with Tommy Boy - including debut album 3 Feet High and Rising (1989), De La Soul is Dead (1991) and Buhloone Mindstate (1993) - remain among the most celebrated albums of classic hip-hop. But the expense of clearing samples, as well as a profit split between Tommy Boy and the trio that many deemed unfair, kept the music off digital channels, with a planned 2019 rollout ending up scrapped. The label was purchased by Reservoir Media in a $100 million deal in 2021, apparently opening up the door for renegotiations.
The group's most recent album, And the Anonymous Nobody, was released in 2016. It is digitally available.