De La Soul Defends Kickstarter Album: “This Is Not About Pocketing Money”
Last week, De La Soul released “God It,” the Nas-assisted, presumed first single from their upcoming eighth studio album, reportedly called, And The Anonymous Nobody. For Hip-Hop fans, this is a benchmark album before Heads press play, due to the fact it is the largest crowd-funded album in the Rap genre to date.
One month ago, the Long Island, New York Hip-Hop trio offered fans an array of thank-you gifts and packages, aiming to raise $110,000 for the LP. Astonishingly, it took only nine hours to reach the goal, with the Native Tongues co-founders now approaching $500,000 in funds from fans. The costs of the album are associated with a nostalgic analog recording studio and materials, along with mechanical royalties for the 26-year veterans to sample their own past catalog, much of which is on their former label, Tommy Boy Records.
Speaking with Vlad TV, the trio defended their practice in asking fans for dollars. All three De La Soul members (Posdnous, Maseo, Dave) spoke candidly, in addressing perceptions that they are either broke, or wealthy artists asking loyal fans for even more than usual.
The trio never addresses their thank-you gifts (including memorabilia, tour passes, and extensive interactions with fans). Instead, the Da.I.S.Y. crew wave off notions that “Kickstarter is the new Koch” (as presented by DJ Vlad). They explain that they are over-stepping labels, and simply serving their base, with the kind of music and relationship that all artists dream of.
At the 10:00 mark, Dave accuses the music industry’s decline as “cheap people, and free music” (something he also addressed on “God It”). The MC formerly known as Trugoy also adds that if De La were stingy, why did they give away their music for free last year? At 12:00, Maseo breaks some more news on that, alluding to the possibility that De La Soul was sued by their former label(s). “The server cracks and then you get a letter from a lawyer.”
As groups like Outkast, A Tribe Called Quest, and N.W.A. have gone on hiatus due—in part—to label woes, is crowd-funding the wave of the future to break out the “slavery” system (as Dave calls it), and work directly with the fans who made them stars?
Should De La have to defend themselves, when the numbers/results show the response?