De La Soul's "3 Feet High & Rising" will stay off DSPs for now.
Tommy Boy Records has officially postponed the arrival of De La Soul's back catalog to streaming services. This weekend, fans awaited the scheduled drop on the 30th anniversary of the groups 3 Feet High & Rising project, but after speaking on the terms of their contract with Tommy Boy, De La Soul prompted backlash from the community at large, citing "unbalanced and unfair terms." Apparently, the group would essentially only retain 10 percent of the royalty profits, while Tommy Boy walked away with 90 percent.
“Because Tommy Boy has not had the opportunity to sit down together with De La Soul and finalize our negotiations — something we’ve wanted to do for months — we have decided to postpone the digital release of their catalog scheduled for tomorrow,” a rep from Tommy Boy said in a statement, per Variety. “We know fans are eager to hear these amazing recordings and we are hopeful for a quick resolution.”
A number of hip-hop stars have voiced their support of De La, including Nas and Questlove, prompting Tommy Boy CEO Tom Silverman to attempt to negotiate with the group, but according to them, not much progress has been made.
"He's been ignoring us for some time," DJ Maseo tell Billboard. "It just got to the final hour where he expected to us to be on-board and make things smooth and dandy. When he finally addressed it, there were no changes in how he felt things needed to be. He used words like, 'what's customary" and 'what's standard.'"
In the same talk, Maseo also teased the crew's desire to have someone like Jay-Z purchase the catalog from Silverman following Hov's support of the group by explicitly keeping Tommy Boy from uploading the back catalog to TIDAL until fair terms were met.
"I spoke to [TIDAL's culture and content editorial director] Elliott [Wilson] and Elliott was like, 'Jay said, 'What y'all trying to do?,'" Maseo explains to Billboard. "I ain't gonna lie to you, I was torn because I would want them to win with the catalog, just based on where things is at for powerful black men. Jay could have been the one [to buy the catalog]. As far as the competitors and what people are making on streaming everyday, I would want him to be the one to succeed with the catalog and really go up against his competitors. He's TIDAL, dog. That's an amazing achievement, especially with where we come from and being a part of this culture. So, for it not to be on TIDAL, it speaks volumes."