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De la soul at governors ball on randalls island 5
Plug One, Plug Two + Plug Three celebrate 20 years of Stakes Is High at Governors Ball.
Photo by Victoria Ford/Sneakshot Photography for Okayplayer

De La Soul Discusses Tommy Boy Deal, Getting Support From Questlove And Jay-Z, '3 Feet High And Rising' Anniversary & More

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The rap trio continues to speak out against Tommy Boy Entertainment.

De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising recently turned 30. But the rap trio has been preoccupied with their former label Tommy Boy over the contract terms not just for 3 Feet High but the five albums that came after it.

READ: Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, And De La Soul Are Going On Tour

The group spoke to Billboard about the ongoing battle with Tommy Boy, the support they've received fromQuestlove and Jay-Z, the 30th anniversary of 3 Feet High and Rising and more.

In regards to 3 Feet High, the group's debut album, De La spoke about how the anniversary feels bittersweet while reflecting on the album's creation.

"It shifted culture and it gave inspiration and gave a template for what a lot of other rappers were doing, especially the skits. I haven't said this, they said this, the artists themselves. It's in the library of Congress. It's a part of American history. It's one of the records that opened up a new business for lawyers in the world of sampling. It's a historical piece," Maseo said before explaining how the album has missed out on the digital era. "Moments and times where I look at people like Missy Elliott when she performed 'Work It' maybe 15 years after it was out at a football game and it had a million plus downloads after she did that one performance. We have had more performances like that over the course of our career and we never had the opportunity to benefit from that media."

From there, the trio discussed how Quest spoke out against Tommy Boy when he took to Instagram and shared a post of a prohibition sign over the Tommy Boy label image along with the #TommyBoycott.

"A lot of these people were hitting us directly because they were disappointed and concerned. You have one person who's like, 'Fuck that. I’m setting it off,'" Pos said.

"It's just being appalled from this bullshit," the De La member continued. "We're not some 18-year-old weary guys who transformed into some broke ass middle class middle-aged dudes. We’ve been blessed to be out here making our money without the benefit of benefitting from our catalogue. We’ve been touring, merch, partnerships, sneakers, features, doing all types of stuff. Whether it’s the first to make an album with Nike. We’ve done so many things and keeping ourselves more than afloat."

The conversation then turns to the possibility of someone buying the group's catalog from Tommy Boy, with Maseo saying that he hopes that's an option. When Jay-Z is mentioned as a potential buyer, Maseo offers a similar response while adding: "At this point, we see how it goes from here. All I could say is, our story is finally being told."

"If the fans want to help out from here on out, don't press play until this thing is resolved," Pos added. "It's gonna go up. Just don't press play."

Recently De La claimed that Tommy Boy is willing to negotiate their streaming deal if the group agrees to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Source: Billboard