"Tommy Boy says they are 'not in the business of giving artists back their Masters.'”
De La Soul have made a statement explaining that they have failed to come to an agreement with their former record label, Tommy Boy Records, over ownership of their music.
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The group, made up of Posdnuos, Trugoy and Maseo, took to social media today (August 8) to announce that after seven months of “stalled negotiations” with Tommy Boy, they were unable to “reach an agreement and earn Tommy Boy’s respect for our music/legacy.”
Of the group’s nine studio albums, six were released through Tommy Boy Records, starting with their classic debut album, ‘3 Feet High and Rising’, and ending with 2001’s ‘AOI: Bionix’.
“Well friends, after 30 years of profiting from our music and hard work,” De La’s statement began, “and after 7 long months of stalled negotiations, we are sad to say that we’ve been unable to reach an agreement and earn Tommy Boy’s respect for our music/legacy.
“With some helpful consulting and long careful consideration, we’ve decided we will not do our 30+ years the disservice of settling on Tom Silverman’s terms.
“Tommy Boy says they are ‘not in the business of giving artists back their Masters.’ We realize, there is a process in reclaiming ownership but we do not trust Tommy Boy in this process after so many years of disappointment. Therefore, our catalog will not see the light of day by way of our involvement or consent.”
Continuing, De La then told fans that if they ever see any of the group’s first six albums on any streaming services then they are not profiting from it.
“This means, if you see De La Soul music/albums available for streaming or purchase anywhere, BE AWARE, all parties involved WILL profit but De La Soul WILL NOT benefit or earn deservedly/fairly.”
Thanking fans, De La added: “Nevertheless, our fans have/will keep our legacy alive! We appreciate and ask for your continued support. Onto new things, new music and more amazing respectful business relationships.”
Earlier this year, De La Soul announced that their first six albums would be made available on streaming services. But soon after, Tommy Boy stated that this would not be the case, citing royalty disputes as the reason why.
Speaking with Rolling Stone back in February, Trugoy said Tommy Boy wanted 70% plus an extra 20% to cover an alleged $2 million debt owed to the label by the band. De La Soul claimed they didn’t know what debt Tommy Boy was referring to, and that they were “still trying to find clarity.”
The US trio were preparing to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘3 Feet High And Rising’ by making all of their music available for 25 hours via their official website.