The symbolism in this episode is too real. Even that “Tommy” line is “ooooh….”
In this episode Dont Press Play, the Teen Titans come down thru a portal to see the animated versions of Posdnous, Maseo, and Dave fighting a monster who’s stealing their music. Before they get involved, the Teen Titans are fanning out seeing De La Soul in action fighting the monster.
If you pay attention carefully, the saying ‘the devil is always in the details’ becomes a lot clearer. The episode is a reflection of an ongoing 30+ years battle with the label to get their masters and to get money back from the labels streaming their earlier music on digital streaming platforms (or DSPs) from 2001’s AOI: Bionix and before. As of right now, De La Soul is only getting 10% of the profit.
— Dee Phunk (@DeePhunk) February 19, 2021
The issue goes back to when they were on Tommy Boy Records. At the time, Warner Bros (who owns a portion of Tommy Boy in exchange for distribution as they see fit) owned their back catalog up until 2017. During this time, their catalog has not be added to any audio streaming services or on any digital media stores. It was because [according to Posdnous (via BBC)], they were reluctant to clear any samples, let alone renegotiate the group’s contract.
In 2015, De La Soul did a kickstarter campaign for the “and the Anonymous Nobody” to sidestep going thru a label to make the album. In 2017, Tommy Boy purchased their back catalog, and two years later, seen De La Soul at the negotiating table with Tommy Boy Records’ Tom Silverman discussing the future of their earlier music.
This is where Silverman decided to release their back catalog on DSPs, only giving the trio 10% of the profit – in which they had to split three ways.
In 2019, De La Soul has been keeping their fans updated with their situation through their IG posts. They even went on Drink Champs to tell their story to hosts NORE & DJ EFN. NORE was also signed to Tommy Boy who’s situation is much similar to the legend’s.
This Slate article has done such an incredible job at connecting the dots at how De La Soul’s involvement in this episode is extremely important for them to get a fair deal out of this unfortunate situation.
So with this episode released, hopefully the younger viewers will be able to aide De La Soul in this legal battle.