DJ Maseo ‘Almost Buckled’ Before Regaining Control Of De La Soul’s Masters

The fight to obtain the rights to their music was a journey that played out publicly for Long Island’s legendary hip-hop group, De La Soul. The group was victorious when it was granted the rights to its music after Reservoir secured its rights from the former record label, Tommy Boy Records. In a recent “Drink Champs” interview, DJ Maseo described almost “buckling” when the group tried to get its music to the masses and the rights to make a little money from their craft.

Before Reservior got the rights to the De La Soul back catalog, the group’s music wasn’t available on any streaming service. After the acquisition was complete and the company negotiated with the trio, it was announced at the beginning of 2023 that De La Soul’s music would be available for their fans on all major streaming platforms. Sadly, along with the good news for the group, it was announced that Trugoy the Dove, nee David Jolicoeur, passed away around the same time.

The remaining members of the hip-hop group, Maseo (Vincent Mason) and Posdnous (Kelvin Mercer), appeared on N.O.R.E. and DJ Efn’s podcast to discuss the road to regaining the rights to their catalog after many decades. During the discussion, Maseo admitted they almost caved, but perseverance overcame any challenge, and now the catalog is streaming extremely well on various platforms.

“Yeah, we’re humble guys, but I know my value,” Mason told the two co-hosts. “I’ve been playing this game since high school, and it’s been on-the-job training. And behind it all, this was the moment in time I had to really take on my leadership in the crew. There were times where I almost buckled. I almost buckled a few times,” he said. 

The catalog officially became available on all streaming platforms on March 3, 2023, on the 34th anniversary of the group’s debut album.