De La Soul Launches a Kickstarter for Their New Album
De La Soul is one of the most revered and most influential groups in the history of hip-hop, and for good reason: 3 Feet High and Rising and De La Soul is Dead remain seminal works, loose enough to read just as fun and evocative in any era. As their career progressed, the trio of Dave, Maseo and Posdnuos became fierce formalists; 1996's Stakes is High was a pointed corrective to what the group felt was a genre gone astray. Now, De La wants to get back on wax, and back to their listeners. They have announced plans to record and release a new album, their first in 11 years, and have set up a Kickstarter account to fund the undertaking. The new album was successfully funded in less than 24 hours. As of noon today (March 31), the Kickstarter campaign has raised $180,974. Their goal was $110,000. With 31 days left in their campaign, they could probably accumulate more money.
Beyond their pioneering ear for sounds and skits, the De La crew has been notable for their role--often that of the martyr--in sampling litigation. (In the video that comes attached to the Kickstarter drive, they playfully taunt sample lawyers, having been fundamental in creating their very profession.) But for the new record, they've found a way around the publishing hoops. "Over the last three years, we've hired some of LA's finest studio musicians and recorded them in free-styled, unrehearsed, jam sessions," the group writes. "They played everything from banjo to upright bass, sometimes up to a dozen musicians at once; simply allowing sounds to integrate." The music--more than 200 hours--will be sampled as if it were a collection of records.
As with all Kickstarter projects, donations come with special prizes. There are the requisite shirts, physical copies of music and concert tickets, but there are also some more alluring kickbacks. One lucky fan will spend a day in the studio with De La Soul, enjoying a private listening session and then recording a skit with the group that will appear on the album. The price tag? $7,500.