4:00am PT by Erika Ramirez, Billboard, Harley Brown, Billboard
De La Soul Gives Away Entire Catalog for Free
De La Soul is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its debut album, 3 Ft High and Rising by making its entire discography for free.
The group's catalog — including original, remixes and instrumentals — can be downloaded for free on their website for 25 hours starting Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. ET.
The trio decided to release their music for free after facing difficulties selling their material on iTunes because of a copyright law which prevents them to do so due to their use of sampling.
"It's about allowing our fans who have been looking and trying to get ahold of our music to have access to it," De La Soul's Posdnuos told Rolling Stone. "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."
"We've been blessed to be in the Library of Congress, but we can't even have our music on iTunes," he continued. "We've been working very hard to get that solved."
In addition to limiting their songs' availability on digital platforms, De La Soul's signature prolific, inventive use of samples has been a well-publicized legal liability for the trio. The Turtles, for example, filed a $1.7 million lawsuit against De La Soul for sampling their 1968 hit "You Showed Me" on "Transmitting Live From Mars" off 3 Ft, an album that also included the drums from Led Zeppelin's "The Crunge", a snippet from the Monkees' "Mary Mary," and more. (The Turtles case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.)
The free download initiative kicks off a stream of upcoming releases leading up to the summer debut of the group's new album, You're Welcome.
Next month, De La Soul will release a six-song EP, Premium Soul on the Rocks, which features six beats from DJ Premiere and Pete Rock, three each.
This article first appeared on Billboard.com.