Pioneering Hip Hop group De La Soul will partner with Nike label SportMusic to release their first full album in five years on Tuesday [click to watch]. The project, a 44-minute workout LP titled Are You In?, will release as the trio celebrates the twentieth anniversary of their hailed debut, 3 Feet High and Rising.
“The set we did is an actual album, with eight or nine songs, not one long deejay set,” says group member Posdnuos. “We recorded the songs and took them to Nike for feedback, and then brought in Flosstradamus to mix it all together.”
The group chose to work with Nike instead of an independent or Big Four record label and found that the brand encouraged creativity, something they felt was lacking from major labels.
“[With Nike] it’s more like a mesh of the minds and a mesh of the creative aspect of things,” said Trugoy the Dove, to Madison and Vine. “I think Nike approaches this on a creative level just as much as on a business level. And I think that’s what’s cool about it. We sit down with an objective and try to accomplish it. The objective of a record label is just selling records. I think they could almost care less about the creative aspect of it. So this is cool, you’ve got a company that creates. They design, they actually focus on an audience, and I think that’s what De La is about as well. It’s not what labels are about.”
The group had previously helped Nike to design two signature versions of the Dunk SB shoe, and also performed at several of the brand’s events. While branded music has struggled to compete with big record labels, Nike has been successful with its SportMusic albums, signing on LCD Soundsystem, Aesop Rock, and Crystal Method for previous projects.
In addition to releasing the album and celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their debut, De La Soul is planning to tour Australia, Europe, and the UK, and is also working on another full length album.
Are You In?: Nike+ Original Run, is available on iTunes for $9.99 on Tuesday, April 28. The release features Raheem DeVaughn.
To purchase, [click here].