De La Soul, the legendary New York hip-hop group who've been making dope music since the late '80s, is set to record and release their first new, full-length album in 11 years, and they're doing it using some very modern means.
On Monday, the trio launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, asking for $110,000. In less than 48 hours, the campaign has already met and exceeded the stated goal, surpassing $250,000 as of Wednesday morning.
The new album, which promises to "incorporate elements of Jazz, Funk, Rock, Country Western and anything else we're feeling in the moment," will employ a sampling technique never attempted before in hip-hop. According to Posdnous, Dave, and Maseo, in an attempt to fight off the "sample police," De La Soul will actually sample themselves.
So, with sample clearance issues a non-factor, where will the quarter of a million dollars that has already been raised be spent? Despite having already recorded over 200 hours of music at LA's classic Vox Studios, the group plans to use the funding to pay for further recording, mixing and marketing.
"Your support will keep us in the studio, help us continue to sample and manipulate the music we’ve recorded, will help us get additional production work done; and will help us design, package, market, and distribute the album. The whole thing. We literally cannot do it without you."
Of course, crowdfunding campaigns are nothing new, Lil Dicky raised over $113,000 in December of 2013, but their continued success represents a change agent in the music business. If both independents on the come up and industry veterans who no longer want to go the major label route can successfully fund the creation of an original body of work, artists with already-established fanbases will likely follow suit more frequently, paving the way for the middle man (the record label) to officially be removed from the equation. The pie will still be the same size, but the artist won't be forced to eat a meager slice that's mostly crust.
De La Soul's currently-untitled new album, a follow-up to 2004's The Grind Date, is slated for release this September.
[By DJ Z, aka @DJBooth.]