De La Soul's classic albums have arrived on streaming for the first time after a longstanding issue around sample clearances was resolved. 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) are now available on all streaming platforms.
The arrival of the group's music to streaming was earlier this year, prior to the death of founder member Trugoy The Dove. Trugoy passed away in February age 54. Fellow members Maseo and Posdnuos shared tributes to him soon after.
Issues with sample clearances and their former label Tommy Boy, which released De La Soul's first six projects, prevented the albums from appearing online legally as the streaming boom took off. The group's long-simmering feud with Tommy Boy boiled over in 2019, when De La Soul revealed that the label was intent on bringing the projects to streaming services and giving the band just a 10% share of the profits. The group urged fans not to stream the albums, and after public blowback, Tommy Boy shelved the release.
Things took a positive turn in 2021 when Tommy Boy was purchased by Reservoir in a $100 million acquisition of the defunct label. At the time, a spokesperson for Reservoir said it was a priority to make the long-missing De La Soul albums available to fans once more.
In addition to the streaming release, De La Soul will reissue their albums on physical media. Vinyl, CDs, cassettes, and merchandise started rolling out earlier thus year. Physical editions of the albums will be spread out across the year—3 Feet High & Rising is available for pre-order now for release on March 3.