It’s safe to say De La Soul will be on heavy rotation this Valentines Day.
To mark the 25th anniversary of their debut album ‘3 Feet High and Rising,’ the hip hop trio will offer their entire catalog as a free download on their website. For exactly 25 hours, from Friday, February 14 at 11am EST through to Saturday at noon, every song De La Soul has ever made will be available to download for free!
This is a rare move, and I’ve certainly never seen an artist give away their entire back-catalog before.
“It’s about allowing our fans who have been looking and trying to get a hold of our music to have access to it. De La Soul member Posdnuos (pictured, right) told Rolling Stone.
“It’s been too long where our fans haven’t had access to everything. This is our way of showing them how much we love them.”
Posdnuos is referring to the legal issues that have prevented the group from selling their music on most digital platforms. De La Soul’s use of samples was groundbreaking for their era. The 69 samples on their debut album alone served to inspire countless numbers of artists from the Black Eyed Peas to Kanye West. However, they weren’t as talented at licensing those samples, so they can’t legally sell a lot of those songs today. Combine that with the sketchy record contracts that were common at the start of their career (think TLC), and the result is most of De La Soul’s most influential work is absent from almost every (legal) download site on the internet.
“We’ve been blessed to be in the Library of Congress, but we can’t even have our music on iTunes. We’ve been working very hard to get that solved.” Posdnuos explained.
With their hands tied, giving away their music is the only logical solution for a true artist that wants to be heard. I’m sure it won’t exactly hurt concert ticket sales, or sales of any upcoming albums either.
“We’re just getting into the mode of constantly giving people new music,” Posdnuos said. So fans can expect to hear much more from De La Soul in the near future. The trio is currently hard at work on what will be their first album release in almost a decade. Titled ‘You’re Welcome,’ the album is scheduled to drop this summer.
Listen to De La Soul’s best-known song, “Me, Myself, and I” below: