Landing on March 3, 2023, the extended-release marks the first digital release of their earliest six records, which includes their highly acclaimed 1991 album ‘De La Soul Is Dead’.
Announcing the release via social media almost 18 months since they first announced that they were taking back control of the discography, the New York trio posted: “Alexa, what’s the magic number. Full catalogue release 3.3.2023,” alongside a video of a billboard referencing their iconic 1989 track ‘The Magic Number’ from their debut album.
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The highly-anticipated release of the outfit’s back catalogue will include six records from 1989 to 2001: ‘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).
The 12-year span of music has never before been released via streaming platforms, and came under dispute due to its heavy use of sampling, De La Soul’s Posdnuos revealed in a 2020 interview with Tampa Bay outlet Creative Loafing.
The catalogue was previously owned Warner Music until 2017, which according to the rapper and producer, was reluctant to clear samples and renegotiate contracts while samples were only cleared for physical release.
Posdnuos, Dave and Maseo reclaimed control of the catalogue in 2021 following a protracted contract with Tommy Boy Records, now set to be released via Reservoir and Chrysalis Records under a new deal. “It’s been 20 plus years overdue, but finally, we are here,” Maseo said on the forthcoming release.
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In a video posted to social media in August 2021, the trio revealed: “We have come to a deal between ourselves and Reservoir to release our music in 2021. Our catalogue will be released this year, we are working diligently with the good folks at Reservoir, and we sat down with them and got it done pretty quickly actually.”
Despite the push-backs, fans are eagerly awaiting the full release which is set to feature their six initial albums on all platforms, while new exclusive merchandise, vinyl, CDs, and cassettes will also be released by the duo’s label, AOI.
Alongside the anticipated release, De La Soul are also set to embark on a UK tour hitting cities including London, Glasgow, and Manchester in April 2023. Find out more here.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins