De La Soul recently revealed that Jay-Z is helping them with their battle against Tommy Boy Records, their former label. Earlier this week, the rap trio announced their catalog would be available for streaming, but Tommy Boy would get 90 percent of the revenue and they’d get 10 percent.
“Dear Fans… The music WILL be released digitally,” the group wrote Wednesday on Instagram. “After 30 long years of good music and paying their debt to Hip Hop, De La Soul, unfortunately, will not taste the fruit of their labor.”
De La asked fans to stream their albums “And the Anonymous Nobody” and “The Grind Date” instead, since neither of those LPs are on Tommy Boy.
Not only that, the group said when they asked the label if all the samples were cleared for the streaming release, they were given a very strange response.
“Monday when confronted and questioned whether or not all samples had been cleared for our catalogs streaming release, Tommy Boy felt that it would be better to move forward with the release and deal with all claims/lawsuits later on,” they wrote on Wednesday. “Really? That’s just not smart business. We don’t want to be sued.”
On that same day, De La said that Jay-Z’s streaming company Tidal would refuse to stream their music over the unfair deal.
“Dear fans, just got off the phone with Tidal,” they wrote Wednesday on Instagram. “In support of the artist, Tidal has decided not to stream our catalog until this matter has been resolved. Thank you Tidal. Thank you Jay.”
Nas also joined De La’s fight and called for a boycott of Tommy Boy, and he used a line from the rapper GZA’s 1995 song “Labels” to make his point.
“DE LA SOUL is the foundation for the young or old, Hip Hop lovers or not. It’s UNIVERSAL RESPECT for these brothers! My friends,” wrote Nas on Wednesday. “Word to the GZA – “Tommy ain’t my motherfucker boy” When you don’t respect the foundation you’re Doomed for Bad Karma! Look out for New Moves Made by De La & i. #delasoul#realunity #Tommyboycott#respecttheartist.”
The Roots’ Questlove also chimed in.
“I been hoping and wishing and praying for their back catalogue to be made available on digital media FOREVER—but not like this,” wrote Questlove earlier this week. “@tommyboyrecords This narrative has been going on since the blues, since jazz, since rock n roll, since disco, since soul—I’m proud of De La for using their voice. Let’s fix this. For the greater good. Let’s be respectful and fair. 90 percent to the label and 10 percent to the artist is not fair.”
De La Soul formed in the late ’80s in Amityville, N.Y., and released their first album “3 Feet High and Rising” in 1989, which spawned hits like “Me Myself and I,” “Say No Go” and “Potholes in My Lawn.”
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DE LA SOUL is the foundation for the young or old, Hip Hop lovers or not. It’s UNIVERSAL RESPECT for these brothers! My friends. Word to the GZA – “Tommy ain’t my motherfucker boy” When you don’t respect the foundation you’re Doomed for Bad Karma! Look out for New Moves Made by De La & i. #delasoul #realunity #Tommyboycott #respecttheartist