Joe Budden Breaks Down In Tears Over De La Soul's Miniscule Earnings On Streaming Services
"For this to be happening to one of the greatest albums ever made. At some point, it has to get away from the business side and onto a moral compass…like how do we sleep at night?”
Joe Budden is known for his outspoken nature and causing controversy with his no holds barred approach to stating his (at times) unpopular opinions. His penchant to stay true to his convictions led him to shed tears on Revolt’s State Of The Culture about legendary hip hop group De La Soul’s plight with their latest streaming endeavor.
In a recent interview with Sway Colloway, the group detailed that their extensive discography would finally be distributed on various streaming platforms after years of being largely unaccessible (aside from a one-day experiment where the group made all their albums available for free on Dropbox). But the problem is that their label, Tommy Boy, who owns the rights to their music is getting a reported 90 percent of the cut, while De La Soul are only getting 10 percent of the profits made from the streams. The seemingly unfair contractual stipulation got under Budden’s skin as he and the other show’s hosts Remy Ma, Scottie Bean and Jinx voiced their opinions on the matter at the 1:11:45 mark in the video above.
“I’m teary because that’s just depressing to hear, but they sell us depression,” Joe began. “When you think of the stories being the same for this amount of years. Like when you look at De La telling you their battles from 30 years ago.”
“I was really angry when I was watching that interview and they said ‘Tommy Boy gave f**k deals to everybody, but it was the only place where we could have creative control,’ he continued. “There is something off in that exchange and I unfortunately identify with it too well because Def Jam was a piece of s**t but I thought I’d be able to say what I wanted to say. For this to be happening to one of the greatest albums ever made. At some point, it has to get away from the business side and onto a moral compass…like how do we sleep at night?”
As a collective all the hosts agreed that De La Soul’s end of the bargain is an unfair one. And also spoke about the issue that comes with clearing off samples in the music industry. In a recent interview with Billboard, the group spoke about the complex conundrums that come up when clearing samples for profit and other legal rights. And why they took a deal that wasn’t the best during their youth.
“We’re kids. People want to blame just like when you look at sports and they want to blame a player for losing their cool, but these are kids getting money. But let me take the line off that and put it back on this,” Maseo said. “We were kids, man. Someone was willing to invest in our dream. $13,000, or $2,000, at the end of the day, creatively, we’re allowed to do whatever the hell we want musically. What happens from what they do with it to when we’re making it, we don’t know this part.”
“We could turn around and be the ones who someone could say you’re sharing this little bit of seven drops of water Tommy Boy gave you to now have to come and split with the people you sampled,” Pos added.
Luckily, the group is getting support from Nas and Jay-Z (TIDAL is not streaming the group's music on their platform). On Monday, March 4, De La Soul announced on Instagram that Tommy Boy has postponed the streaming release of their catalog, and that negotiations would begin soon. Watch De La Soul's interview on Sway's Universe below.