Streaming has rapidly become the dominant way many people consume music over the course of the past half-decade but one of the most storied catalogs in all of hip-hop has been absent from DSPs as a result of a decades-long copyright battle. However, that may be changing soon as a result of the recent sale of Tommy Boy Music to music rights company Reservoir for $100 million, which prompted the question of what would happen to the music of De La Soul. Variety reports that Reservoir has already reached out to the iconic rap trio to “bring the catalog and the music back to the fans.”
The status of De La Soul’s catalog on DSPs has been uncertain since 2019, when Questlove led a call to boycott Tommy Boy’s proposed streaming plan over the unfavorable splits the band would have received. After Jay-Z and Tidal made the decision not to host the catalog, Tommy Boy’s streaming plan fell through, once again leaving the future of the catalog in limbo. To date, the only two De La albums available to stream are 2004’s The Grind Date, released under Sanctuary Records, and their crowdfunded 2016 album And The Anonymous Nobody. That leaves six albums, including their groundbreaking debut 3 Feet High And Rising, out of rotation.
For younger fans who might not know the impact the band has had on rap culture, this is kind of a travesty. However, as a testament to De La’s profound importance to the pop culture landscape — and a possible introduction to them for those younger fans — the band was recently featured in an episode of Teen Titans Go! on Cartoon Network, using their musical powers to defeat an animated monster octopus. Maybe one day soon, those Teen Titans fans will be able to check out “Me Myself & I” and “Stakes Is High” on Spotify.