De La Soul Reportedly Acquire Rights To Their Back Catalogue

Talib Kweli made the revelation this week via an Instagram post

De La Soul have acquired the rights to the master recordings for their own back catalogue after years of contract disputes, according to Talib Kweli.

Kweli shared the news via Instagram this week, after, he says, speaking to De La Soul’s Maseo. Much of the group’s earlier material has not been available on streaming platforms as a result of years of contract disputes between the hip hop group and their former label, Tommy Boy Records. The trio are yet to confirm the acquisition themselves, however.

"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 on Instagram. "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 apparent recovery of the rights by the group comes after Tommy Boy Records was purchased by rights company Reservoir for £70 million earlier this year. That purchase meant Reservoir owned the rights to six of the group’s albums, including 3 Feet High And Rising, De La Soul Is Dead and Buhloone Mindstate.

Tommy Boy had previously attempted to make those albums available for streaming, but the label failed after De La Soul alleged "unbalanced, unfair terms" relating to a contract. It’s not yet known if this newfound rights acquisition by the group, if confirmed, will mean that their early music will finally come to streaming services.

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