De La Soul had the Hip Hop community buzzing when they finally released all their music on streaming platforms last year. The entire process behind this massive undertaking has now been captured in a new documentary.

The journey to get their catalog on digital streaming platforms (DSPs) was no easy feat, mainly due to sample clearance issues and a contractual dispute with their former label, Tommy Boy. The situation began to change in 2021 when Reservoir Media acquired their discography as part of their $100 million acquisition of the imprint. This move allowed the trio’s first six albums to be available online once again through Chrysalis Records.

On June 4, De La Soul announced their new documentary, which delves into their efforts to rerelease their adored music. The New York group shared on Instagram, ‘Chapter 3 chronicles the iconic studio sessions leading up to the 2023 re-release and remaster of De La Soul’s catalog, one of the most storied music collections in hip-hop.’ They also released a teaser trailer for excited fans.

The group highlighted that these sessions marked the first time in nearly three decades that members Posdnuos, Dave, Maseo, and producer Prince Paul came together in the studio for a De La Soul project. ‘Chapter 3 captures the journey of these four grown men with a legacy to protect, as well as the memories and moments that helped them build it. The documentary provides an intimate look at the creative process, camaraderie, and passion that has defined De La Soul’s enduring legacy,’ they added.

Deborah Mannis-Gardner, founder of DMG Clearances, played a crucial role in securing the necessary sample clearances. She explained to HipHopDX, ‘It was Tommy Boy that oversaw the clearances for the first album and such, and they did clear a lot of samples, [but] they didn’t clear every sample.’ She elaborated on how practices were different back then, saying, ‘If you think back to the way we used to do things, in that era of time, drum beats, a lot of drum beats weren’t cleared, because they thought it wasn’t copyrightable.’

Streaming issues and legal hurdles aside, the documentary also revisits De La Soul’s Tommy Boy-era recordings like ‘3 Feet High & Rising,’ ‘De La Soul Is Dead,’ ‘Buhloone Mindstate,’ and the AOI series, which were finally made available to stream and purchase digitally in March 2023.

The documentary, titled ‘Chapter 3,’ will livestream worldwide, commencing on June 7. It will be available on De La Soul’s YouTube, Facebook, and X (formerly Twitter) pages, as well as their official website. The streaming schedule includes multiple dates and locations such as Los Angeles, Sydney, Chicago, London, Paris, Seoul, São Paulo, and New York, all at 3 PM local time for each location.

After years of legal battles and technical hurdles, De La Soul’s music is finally accessible to fans old and new. ‘Chapter 3’ offers an insightful and emotional journey into the making of their legendary catalog and the recent efforts to bring it into the digital age. Don’t miss this intimate look into the world of De La Soul.

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