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De La Soul at the UIC Pavillion on May 25, 1989 in Chicago, Illinois.
De La Soul at the UIC Pavillion on May 25, 1989 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Paul Natkin for WireImage via Getty Images.

The De La Soul Catalog is Thriving, But Where's The "Buddy" Remix?

The revered remix for "Buddy" first appeared on the 12" vinyl release of the single in 1989 and was later accompanied by a playful music video, in which De La Soul was joined by the song's full roster of guests.

As the music of De La Soul finally works its way into personalization algorithms across the streaming landscape, many fans have noticed a suspicious omission from the catalog's release. Namely, the absence of the "Buddy" remix.

A posse cut exemplifying a "pure" remix decorum for the era  -- recalibrating both the lyrical and musical elements of the original composition -- the edit in question was released in 1989 on the 12" vinyl single release of "Buddy," where it appeared as "Buddy (Native Tongue Decision,)" with an entirely new beat (produced by Prince Paul,) and additional verses from Phife Dawg, Monie Love, and Queen Latifah. In short, the remix delivered what the original didn't: a full-bodied, whole-rostered Native Tongues collaboration that arguably eclipsed the version released on the group's debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, which was treated to a colorfully animated lyric video today.

Due to the legal battles that kept the overwhelming majority of De La Soul's catalog off streaming providers, the "Buddy" remix has become an increasingly elusive listen in the years since it was initially released. Even the playful music video for the song was recently pulled from Youtube, relegating its availability to a handful of less-than-legit corners of the internet. So when the group's first six albums joined The Grind Date and And The Anonymous Nobody... on DSPs earlier this month, Daisy Age disciples rejoiced at the prospect of finally being able to hear a seminal and celebrated moment in hip-hop history.

But March 3rd came and went without the remix's release, which has left a lot of heads scratching and wondering just what happened to the revered remix. And, perhaps more importantly, when will it be included in the group's seismic streaming push?

The answer here is unsettlingly simple and, unfortunately, will only lead to more questions. "This remix was never part of the initial roll out plan," said Suzanne Arrabito, VP of Marketing at Reservoir Media, the company that secured the group's catalog in 2021 and guided their transition into the streaming era. Reasons were not given and a timeline is still unclear, but Arrabito assured fans "we hope to make it available in the future," in a statement sent to Okayplayer via email.

Do with that what you will, but it's at least promising to know this cherished piece of the group's early catalog might be in the queue. Until then, there is, for the first time in the digital music age, plenty of De La Soul to go around. And the sudden ease of accessibility is already paying off. Last night, as the group geared up to pay tribute to late co-founder David Jolicoeur with The Roots on The Tonight Show with a performance of "Stakes Is High," Jimmy Fallon revealed their debut album had cracked the top 20 of the Billboard 200 chart, where it is currently sitting at a new peak of No. 15.