Pioneering US hip-hop trio De La Soul are offering up their entire back catalogue as a free download in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their 1989 debut album 3 Feet High And Rising.
The influential group are making their entire catalog – remixes, instrumentals and rarities included – available for download via their website for only 25 hours (which means there’s roughly 15 hours left) as long as you’re OK with giving them your email address.
This giveaway is quite a meaningful gesture on the group’s behalf; De La Soul have a history of sample clearance problems, which has kept some of their music off of traditional digital platforms like Apple’s iTunes.
De La Soul member Posdnuos (real name Kelvin Mercer) told Rolling Stone, “It’s been a trying journey. We’ve been blessed to be in the Library of Congress, but we can’t even have our music on iTunes. We’ve been working very hard to get that solved.
“It’s about allowing our fans who have been looking and trying to get a hold of our music to have access to it,” he continued, before stating that this free download offer is the group’s way of showing their fans “how much we love them”.
According to Rolling Stone, De La Soul will also release some new tracks in the coming weeks, which will be followed by their first studio album since 2004’s The Grind Date, apparently titled You’re Welcome.
In March, they’ll reportedly release a six-song EP called Preemium Soul on the Rocks, which will feature production from DJ Premier and Pete Rock. Apparently there are also plans to work on a track featuring an unreleased beat from J Dilla, the prolific producer who passed away in 2006.
Posdnuos said that You’re Welcome is “coming along amazingly,” but explained that self-criticism has been one of the reasons for its delay. “We have tons of music, but we’re our own worst critics,” the rapper admits.
“Certain groups have too many ‘yes men.’ In our group, we have too many ‘no men.’,” Posdnuos claims, before revealing that the trio are already thinking about what comes after You’re Welcome. “We also have this whole other album that we’re working on… I wish I could talk about it,” he says.
Posdnuos also discussed the difficulties in constantly releasing new material, saying, “You can put out a new mixtape every week, but it can dilute what you’re putting out because you haven’t had enough time to see what’s going on with your life to write something from a different angle.”
With De La Soul though, he admits, “We’ve sat a long time without releasing an album. It’s high time we start releasing a bunch of stuff, because it’s there.” With You’re Welcome soon to be upon us, and another album already in the works, De La Soul appear far from letting up.
Watch: De La Soul – Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)