Just three weeks after the passing of their founding member Dave “Trugoy the Dove” Jolicoeur from a heart condition at the age of 54, the hip-hop trio De La Soul’s first six albums are finally on digital streaming services as of today.
The re-release of the albums, which include the 1989 rap classic 3 Feet High and Rising, its 1991 followup De La Soul Is Dead, 1993’s Buhloone Mindstate, 1996’s Stakes Is High and 2000’s Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump and its 2021 companion album AOI: Bionix.
De La Soul’s back catalogue had never properly existed til now on streaming due to a dispute between the band and label Warner Records, who Posdnuos said was reluctant to clear the samples for digital distribution, saying that the label didn’t have confidence in the album making enough money back to justify the work.
In 2017, their back catalogue was bought by Tommy Boy Records, but the trio weren’t happy with the 10% cut of the potential revenue they were offered so releases were postponed.
In 2021, when Reservoir Media acquired Tommy Boy for USD$100 million, De La Soul’s music on DSPs was due back on services as of today.
In a recent letter to Trugoy, band member Maseo acknowledged the loss in the context of today’s news.
Frequest collaborators Gorillaz also posted a new song featuring the trio and Dawn Penn.
“On one end I’m happy you no longer have to suffer the pain of your condition but on the other hand I’m extremely upset at the fact that you’re not here to celebrate and enjoy what we worked and fought so hard to achieve. Unfortunately, emcees that are in groups very rarely get mentioned, you and Merce [Kelvin “Posdnuos” Mercer] are top tier, your contribution as emcees and songwriters have inspired many to step up their game.”
Listen to all albums here: