De La Soul has hit out at label Tommy Boy over the “unfair terms” they have been given to make their back catalogue available on streaming services.
The group’s albums, including 1989 classic 3 Feet High and Rising, will finally be available on Spotify and Apple Music after a long-running dispute; their label, Tommy Boy Records, kept their fans from accessing their music outside of physical purchases or downloading it (for free) directly from De La Soul’s website.
However, De La Soul, comprised of members Posdnuos, Trugoy and Maseo, let their fans know they’re unhappy with the deal and don’t think the contract, which they insisted on Instagram was not negotiated with them, is a fair one.
“Your purchases will roughly go 90 per cent to Tommy Boy, 10 per cent De La,” the group wrote to their fans. “We are not happy releasing our catalog under such unbalanced, unfair terms.”
They also accused Tommy Boy of not clearing samples ahead of the streaming release, which they allege will leave them open to potential legal action.
According to editors at Rolling Stone, while Spotify and Apple Music will soon begin streaming De La’s hits, Tidal, which is co-owned by rapper JAY-Z, has decided not support the release.
“It’s not going up on Tidal,” group member Maseo told Rolling Stone.
“JAY-Z reached out. He’s not willing to support this,” he added, explaining the music mogul reached out personally with his support — and the promise to keep the catalogue off the streaming service he owns.
“(Tidal) supports the artist,” chimed in Trugoy. “That’s just the bottom line.
“That’s a great thing to know that people recognize the nonsense and they recognize and empathize with the artists,” he continued “At the end of the day, you feel like that’s why your peers are reaching out to you, in support of you.”
While Jay has not directly commented, a source has reportedly confirmed to Rolling Stone the service will not be making the group’s music available for streaming.