De La Soul and Tommy Boy Records have been locked in negotiations over the trio’s musical catalog for years.

On Monday (February 25), Pos, Maseo and Dave revealed via Instagram they’d been on the phone with the label, trying to settle on a deal that would finally allow their early albums to be streamed on all digital platforms.

“Dear fans…just got off the phone with Tommy Boy Records…negotiations (or lack there of) to release our catalog on all streaming platforms..uh oh.”

De La followed up with, “Dear fans … just got wind that Tommy Boy was not happy about our last post. Touché. We are not happy about releasing our catalog under such unbalanced, unfair terms. #respecttheartist.”

On Tuesday (February 26), De La revealed just what those terms are in another Instagram post and didn’t seem particularly pleased with the outcome.



“Dear Fans…The music WILL be released digitally,” the post reads. “After 30 long years of good music and paying their debt to Hip Hop, De La Soul unfortunately, will not taste the fruit of their labor. Your purchases will roughly go 90% Tommy Boy, 10% De La. Thank you. Sincerely Yours, #thephantom2milliondollardebt.”

The caption reads, “Don’t feed the vultures, support and respect the culture #30years if you wanna support De La Soul, cop the #grindate and #anonymousnobody albums. Coming soon: #delasoul @realpeterock and @djpremier 2019!!!”

De La released six albums with Tommy Boy, including the 1989 classic 3 Feet High and Rising, 1991’s De La Soul is Dead, 1993’s Buhloone Mindstate and 1996’s Stakes Is High. The group’s last album with the label, AOI: Bionix, dropped in 2001.



Since then, Pos, Mase and Dave have been on the independent grind under their own A.O.I. imprint. Maseo recently confirmed to HipHopDX they are working on the follow-up to 2016’s And The Anonymous Nobody as well as a third installment in the Art Official Intelligence series.

DX has reached out to Tommy Boy for comment.