De La Soul Gets Masters Back from Tommy Boy Records
By Victor Omondi
DJ Maseo announced the exciting news on Instagram late Monday night.
According to HipHopDX, the legendary New York hip hop ensemble has finally reclaimed their masters from Tommy Boy Records following a lengthy and violent battle. DJ Maseo, a member of the band, announced the news on Instagram late Monday night. In part, he said, “Come celebrate the good news,” in conjunction with an announcement that the band would do an Instagram Live on Tuesday at 3p.m. ET.
In a subsequent post on social media, rapper Talib Kweli verified the good news, writing:
“After years of being taken advantage [of] 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 stated. “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…”
Reservoir Records announced in June that it has purchased Tommy Boy Records for a stunning $100 million. That deal included the rights to a slew of classic albums from artists and groups like Naughty by Nature, Coolio, Digital Underground, Queen Latifah, and De La Soul, including the latter’s debut album 3 Feet High and Rising, as well as De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate, and Stakes Is High, among others.
Now that things are back on track, a Reservoir rep has verified that the label is working to get De La Soul’s songs “back to fans” and on streaming sites.
De La Soul’s relationship with their first label, Tommy Boy Records, worsened after it was revealed that TBR had negotiated an agreement for TBR to earn 90% of streaming revenue, leaving the group with only 10%. After months of fruitless negotiations, the difficult relationship came to a head in 2019 when the band openly called out Tommy Boy Records CEO Tom Silverman on social media.