Pioneering hip-hop trio De La Soul’s classic back catalog will be available for digital streaming for the first time.
“Alexa, what’s the magic number,” the group wrote in an Instagram post sharing the March 3 release date, referring to one of their hottest products.
De La Soul released their critically acclaimed platinum-selling debut album 3 Feet High And Rising in 1989, featuring songs such as The Magic Number, Eye Know, Buddy, Potholes In My Lawn and Me, Myself And I.
The follow-up album De La Soul Is Dead came out in 1991, followed by four more albums with the original label Tommy Boy between 1993 and 2001.
While their most recent records, The Grind Date (2004) and The Anonymous Nobody (2016), are available digitally, their first six albums are still conspicuously absent.
Licensing complications are said to have kept De La Soul’s early music from streaming sites due to the high number of samples in the songs and issues with the former record label.
That will now change after Reservoir acquires Tommy Boy in 2021 – they will digitally release their hit single The Magic Number as a preview on January 13.
De La Soul shared the news in two posts on social media, confirming that their hit will be available on Amazon and Spotify.
“We can’t believe this day has finally arrived, and we’re excited to share our music with fans old and new,” the band said.
“The first call we made was to De La Soul”
Faith Newman, executive vice president of A&R and catalog development at the Reservoir, said, “As someone who has been involved in hip-hop for over 30 years, my relationship with the folks at De La Soul dates back to my early years in the industry and I can attest to their How much influence the catalog has had on the genre.
“When Reservoir bought Tommy Boy, the first call we made was to De La Soul. We made a vow to bring their music to streaming, and it meant to our team that the world deliver on that promise and let A new generation of listeners is exposed to one of the most important catalogs in hip-hop history.”
Against the trend of hip-hop
Composed of Posdnuos (Kelvin Mercer), Trugoy (David Jude Jolicoeur) and Maseo (Vincent Lamont Mason Jr), De La Soul formed at a high school in Long Island, New York, and caught the attention of producer Prince Paul.
3 Feet High And Rising is consistently included by critics and industry publications on lists of the greatest albums of all time, while the band themselves are often hailed as one of the greatest hip-hop acts of all time.
The album was added in 2011 to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry, a listing of recordings deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
It was hailed as an “upbeat and often humorous album” that bucked “the stark urban naturalism that hip-hop increasingly turned to in the late 1980s”.
The full De La Soul streaming release on March 3, 2023 will mark the 34th anniversary of the release of 3 Feet High And Rising.