This Label Owner is Trying to Buy De La Soul’s Masters So They Can Give it Back to Them

De La Soul SXSW
Photo Credit: Vickey Ford of Sneakshot Photography

Rostrum Records’ owner Benjy Grinberg confirmed his involvement in the situation with HipHopDX.

De La Soul’s legal battle with Tommy Boy Records has endured for years now. Over the weekend, a new ally emerged in the fight.

Rostrum Records owner Benjy Grimberg told HipHopDX that he’s stepping in to assist negotiations. “De La Soul was incredibly impactful and important to my musical upbringing,” he said.

“Along with Prince Paul, they helped influence my love of Hip Hop and of creativity in general. I would love nothing more than to be able to help them in any way I possibly can, though I haven’t gotten very far with Tommy Boy. It’s an uphill battle.”

The group’s music has been withheld from streaming platforms for years due to disputes over royalties and masters. Last March, Tommy Boy planned to release the group’s first six albums on streaming for the first time. However, the group notified their fans that they’d only receive 10% of royalties from streams and digital sales.

The conflict stems from issues regarding sample clearances. According to Maseo, Tommy Boy’s former president previously assured Maseo he’d handled clearance issues informally. At some point in the early 2000s, Tommy Boy lost its catalog to Warner Bros. due to debt. At the time of the acquisition, Warner Bros. believed resolving those issues wouldn’t be worth the hassle.

As a result, the group’s first six albums aren’t available on streaming platforms.

Stay tuned for further updates regarding negotiations between De La Soul and Tommy Boy.

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