The back catalog of Grammy-winning hip-hop trio De La Soul is set to roll out on digital streaming services for the first time on March 3, through a new partnership with Reservoir Media and Reservoir-owned Chrysalis Records.
De La Soul’s members include Posdnuos (Kelvin Mercer), Trugoy (David Jude Jolicoeur), and Maseo (Vincent Lamont Mason Jr.). The trio was formed in Long Island, New York when they were discovered by producer Prince Paul.
The group subsequently released their debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, in March 1989. The album reached #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. It was certified Platinum by the RIAA and was inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
The deal with Reservoir, announced on Tuesday (January 3), follows the company’s acquisition of the trio’s back catalog as part of its purchase of legendary US record label and music publishing company Tommy Boy Music LLC for about $100 million.
Since the acquisition, Reservoir and Chrysalis have worked with De La Soul and their record label, AOI, to launch their albums on digital streaming services.
“When Reservoir acquired Tommy Boy, the first call we made was to De La Soul. We vowed to bring their music to streaming, and it means the world to our team to make good on that promise and expose a whole new generation of listeners to one of the most important catalogs in hip-hop history,” Faith Newman, Reservoir Executive Vice President of A&R and Catalog Development, said.
To mark the launch of the partnership, De La Soul will release their hit single The Magic Number digitally on January 13.
The Chrysalis team, led by Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Lascelles, will provide marketing support to De La Soul including releasing Chrysalis-distributed exclusive merchandise, vinyl, CDs, and cassettes, as well as albums from their discography available on vinyl, CD, and cassettes later in 2023.
Fans can now pre-order the merch on wearedelasoul.com.
Following the release of The Magic Number this month, the trio will then make their first six albums — including 3 Feet High and Rising (1989), De La Soul Is Dead (1991), Buhloone Mindstate (1993), Stakes Is High (1996), Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump (2000), and AOI: Bionix (2001) — available digitally from March 3 to mark the 34th anniversary of the release of their debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising.
Commenting on the move, De La Soul said: “We can’t believe this day is finally here, and we are excited to be able to share our music with fans, old and new. Golnar, Rell, Faith and the Reservoir team have been great partners in this entire process. We’re grateful that our relationship with them all has enabled this to happen.”
Reservoir’s Newman said her relationship with De La Soul dates back to her early days in the music industry.
The executive, who has been in the hip-hop scene for over 30 years, said: “I can attest to how influential their catalog is to the genre.”
Speaking about the partnership, Reservoir President and Chief Operating Officer Rell Lafargue said: “Bringing De La Soul’s music to streaming services is a big moment for Reservoir, Chrysalis, and fans everywhere. We identified this opportunity when we were in the preliminary stages of acquiring Tommy Boy.”
“Over the past 18 months, we have worked tirelessly with De La Soul, maintaining a heightened attention to honoring the group’s original musical details, including bringing Prince Paul and the original team to the studio to prepare the catalog for streaming.”
“It is a real testament to our team and the group that we are able to execute these plans together. We couldn’t be prouder to embrace De La Soul’s historic artistry and support them in sharing their music with the world,” Lafargue added.
For Reservoir, the launch of De La Soul’s catalog on digital platforms would bring in new revenue streams for the company after it raked in $33.3 million in revenues in the third quarter of 2022 (its fiscal Q2 2023). The figure was up 10% from a year earlier.
The company is on track to spend another $100 million on “strategic M&A” in the current fiscal year ending in March 2023 after investing $224 million on the acquisition of music rights in the previous FY.
“Many of our transactions come to us through existing relationships and because of our reputation in the industry as thoughtful stewards of our catalog and the artists we represent. This inside track gives us better access to catalogs that may not be more broadly offered to other music companies,” Reservoir founder and CEO Golnar Reservoir said in November 2022.
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