De La Soul and Tommy Boy Records had a very public dispute over contract negotiations last year. In a recent interview with Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Posdnuos hinted a reconciliation with their original label was possibly in the works, but he didn’t outline the details of what that means.
“(Tommy Boy) sort of came back to the table, we are looking to sort of get it going,” Pos said. “At the end of the day, of course, it’s money to be earned. We feel like we deserve [it], but for us it’s really about the fans. At the end of the day, no one wants bad blood between each other, we just want it to be fair and to get the music out to the people.”
Pos noted the sample clearing issues as well. Their seminal 1989 album, 3 Feet High and Rising, famously used multiple samples weaved together by beat maestro Prince Paul.
“There are also clearance issues for the samples De La Soul used, and there are a lot of them,” Pos added. “3 Feet High alone has over 60 samples, including some from the Commodores, Billy Joel, Otis Redding and Steely Dan.
“I would love it for the fans that stuck by us. We know how it is to be fans of music we love and we want that for our fans who stood by us for all these years.”
When reached for comment, Maseo told RealStreetRadio with a laugh, “The keywords: ‘Sort of came back.’”
The tension appeared to reach an all-time high in February 2019 when Dave, Pos and Maseo revealed they’d attempted to negotiate with Tommy Boy to release their first six albums on streaming platforms to no avail.
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For our fans to finally be able to stream and/or download our music will be a dream come true! The reality for De La… what an ugly greedy nightmare. #threefeethighandrising #delasoulisdead #buhloonemindstate #stakesishigh #aoimosaicthump #bionix Tag and let @tommyboyrecords and @dodo_011.1 know how you feel #respecttheculture #respecttheart #respecttheartist More news to come on Sway In the Morning, tune in.
Subsequently, Questlove kicked off a #TommyBoycott. In an interview with DX last May, Maseo explained how it was completely organic.
“Let me tell you what’s crazy,” he explained. “We flirted with the idea of a boycott for a long time — for about a good month-and-a-half. It’s crazy Questlove came out of the blue with that. We honestly wanted to be really clear on it being a boycott. It just sat there on our tongue. We were like, ‘What the fuck do we do!?’
“We legally can’t fight and can’t afford to fight. We ended up refraining from that. Tom [Silverman] can legally do this. It’s pretty much turned into a protest to us and a boycott for the fans. The boycott manifested on its own. It had been up to this point just a protest.”