That means hip-hop fans will finally be able to listen to the trio’s 1989 classic debut, 3 Feet High, on major platforms.
De La Soul’s subsequent albums will also be available, including: De La Soul Is Dead (1991) Buhloone Mindstate (1993) Stakes Is High (1996) Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump (2000) and AOI: Bionix (2001).
The reason for the holdup was down to decades-long sample clearances and legal contracts at the time of the album’s release, which didn’t foresee the advent of digital music consumption.
3 Feet High and Rising, for instance, has over 70 samples which were almost all cleared for the album’s release in 1989, but were explicitly cleared for ‘vinyl and cassette release’.
However, after Reservoir acquired legendary hip-hop label Tommy Boy Records in June 2021, the music rights company sought to work through the clearance samples to bring De La Soul’s classics into the world of streaming.
“We can’t believe this day is finally here,” De La Soul said in a statement, “and we are excited to be able to share our music with fans, old and new.”
Faith Newman, Reservoir Executive Vice President of A&R and Catalog Development, meanwhile, has explained: “When Reservoir acquired Tommy Boy, the first call we made was to De La Soul.
“We vowed to bring their music to streaming, and it means the world to our team to make good on that promise and expose a whole new generation of listeners to one of the most important catalogs in hip-hop history.”
And they’ve come good on their word, with the 3 March release date set to coincide with the 34th anniversary of 3 Feet High and Rising – rising being the only thing now likely to happen to the group’s streaming figures.