De La Soul members Kelvin “Posdnous” Mercer and David Jolicoeur recently spoke with Bloomberg to explain why the iconic Rap group’s earlier music is not available on various digital platforms including, among others, Spotify.
“Unfortunately, a lot of the earlier stuff we did on Tommy Boy [Records], from what we understand, a lot of the legal language that needed to a part of the contracts between ourselves, the owners of the master and the publishing, I guess it didn’t include the world of digital,” Posdnous says. “It was almost specifically to vinyl, cassettes [and] CDs. So a lot of those contracts needed to be reworked. So when dealing with that it took a lot [and] is taking a lot of time to reach out to these different people.
“And just to rework those contracts to make that language exist for the benefit of the individuals involved, it’s just a process,” David Jolicoeur adds. “It’s a long process to make that happen, that’s why our stuff is pretty much [not] available via the digital world.”
Earlier in the conversation, the pair discussed how the group went about creating music at Tommy Boy while dealing with the issue of correctly clearing the samples they wanted to use.
“I think the creative aspect was most important, getting into the studio, sussing out records and creating a song out of your favorite sounds that you found was first and foremost,” Dave says. “And then business time came and we all sat down and we looked at the list of the different individuals that we sampled from and figured out whether it was going to be difficult clearing this one, or [whether it was going to be] hard to find this publisher and really trying to get clearances on each song. So it was a process but the creative aspect of it definitely came first.”
De La Soul’s next album, their first LP in eleven years, will be entirely funded via a Kickstarter campaign. Their original goal was to raise $110,000, however as of press time, they have raised $456,658 from 8,339 backers with 15 days left to go until the campaign finishes. Because their crowdfunding campaign has been so successful, the group announced on April 1 that they will be releasing a new album sometime this year.
De La Soul’s interview with Bloomberg can be viewed below: