De La Soul sure do love their fans. On Friday (February 14), the veteran Long Island, New York, hip-hop trio announced they’d be giving the bulk of their catalog away for free online — but with a twist.
The trio are celebrating 25 years in the game, and you can download as much of their catalog as you want on WeAreDeLaSoul.com for the next 25 hours, beginning Friday at 11 a.m. ET. That includes hits from their March 1989 debut LP, 3 Feet High and Rising.
“It’s about allowing our fans who have been looking and trying to get a hold of our music to have access to it,” De La Soul rapper Posdnuos told RollingStone.com on Thursday. “It’s been too long where our fans haven’t had access to everything. This is our way of showing them how much we love them.”
It’s an unprecedented move that every rap fan should take advantage of because, well, it doesn’t cost you anything. Still, if free music doesn’t motivate you, here are 8 more reasons why you should download De La.
Tupac Was A Fan
Yes, we know Tupac went pretty hard at De La on “Against All Odds,” but who didn’t he dis? Before he went all Thug Life on East Coast MCs, ’Pac admitted he was a De La Soul fan and even shouted them out on his 1995 track “Old School.”
De La Did ’Who Shot Ya’ Before Biggie
Two years before the Notorious B.I.G. went digging in the crates to turn David Porter’s 1971 classic “I’m Afraid the Masquerade is Over” into “Who Shot Ya,” De La flipped the same sample for their Buloone Mindstate LP.
They Can Rhyme Really Well
If you want to talk lyricism, then you have to include Posdnuos and Trugoy in the conversation. Over the course of the past 25 years, De La have delivered complex and thoughtful verses and are still at the top of their game lyrically.
Stakes Is High Is A Classic
With the rise of Mafia-inspired rap in the mid-1990s, De La offered a thumping alternative with Stakes is High. The album featured production from J. Dilla and key rap appearances from a then-little-known Mos Def and rising star Common.
They Made Album Skits Cool
If you enjoyed popular album skits like Eminem’s “Ken Kaniff” gag or the Notorious B.I.G.’s Mad Rapper interludes, you’ll get a kick out of De La Soul. They actually started the rap trend with producer Prince Paul on their game show-themed interludes on 1989’s 3 Feet High and Rising.
They’re Part Of The Native Tongues Crew —
Just Like A Tribe Called Quest
Along with A Tribe Called Quest and Jungle Brothers, De La Soul are among the founding members of the Native Tongues Posse, which also includes Busta Rhymes, Queen Latifah, Monie Love, Chi-Ali and the Beatnuts. Think of Native Tongues as Odd Future — without the antics.
The Song ’Buddy’ Is Still Highly Influential
One of De La’s most famous tracks, “Buddy,” still gets sampled. will.i.am quoted some of the group’s lyrics in last year’s “Let’s Go” (featuring Chris Brown), and Musiq Soulchild completely remade the track with Fat Joe, Jadakiss and Ja Rule in 2007.
De La Is One Of The Best Rap Groups Of All Time
Sure you have to consider OutKast, Run-DMC and Wu-Tang Clan in any G.O.A.T. group conversation, but there are diehards who will also throw De La’s name into the ring. The fact that they’re still releasing music 25 years later earns them major points for consistency.
Did We Mention It’s Free?
That may be the best reason of all.