The ninth track off De La Soul's 1989 landmark debut, 3 Feet High and Rising, mixes and samples Sly and the Family Stone, Steely Dan, the Mad Lads, and that unforgettable whistled hook from Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay." If "Eye Know" were to be released in the present day, the song would cost a fortune in royalties.
|Courtesy of De La Soul|
|De La Soul|
"Sampling is a great business, but it's not the Wild, Wild West [of] the early Eighties, where everything was under the radar and you could just kind of let it go," says De La Soul's Posdnuos. "We never took it upon ourselves to care about the fact that there's twenty samples in one record." But by 1991, De La Soul found themselves being sued by two members of Sixties pop group the Turtles over a twelve-second snippet used in the song "Transmitting Live From Mars." (The suit was eventually settled out of court.)
So while De La Soul's early record catalog is highly revered, its presence is missing entirely from streaming services such as Spotify and iTunes. This isn't by their decree. Posdnuos, along with fellow group members Dave and Maseo, are passionate about their fan base (even going as far as offering their entire discography for free online one day last February), but the red tape and legal woes that hover over these sample-heavy albums tie their hands.More »