Rap legends De La Soul used Kickstarter to crowdfund their forthcoming album, their first in 11 years (hooray!) Their goal of $110 000 was met in no less than NINE HOURS. At the time of writing this, there’s still four days left on the campaign, and donations have already reached more than $528 000.
It’s unsurprising really – not only are they one of the most respected rap crews in the history of the genre, but the prizes for donations include everything from Twitter shout-outs and advance-release albums, all the way up to a dinner date with the trio, a private DJ set at any function, and for $7500, you can record a skit that will actually be heard on the album.
Check out the Kickstarter for a full breakdown of fees, what we’ll see on the album (self-sampling, features from Damon Albarn, David Byrne, 2 Chainz and more) donation prizes and way more.
As you might expect from such a famous group asking fans for money, there has been criticism from some people – why do they need fan money? Are they broke? Are they just being stingy? Huh?
Well, DLS had already said that part of the reason for crowdfunding was to remove themselves from the cold, clammy hands of The Evil Record Label.
“For the last decade, we’ve been independent artists, free of a record label interfering in our creative process. This will be our first De La Soul studio album in eleven years. We’re excited and ready to create. It’s been essential that we find ways to fund, record and release new music. Typically the fans have been the ones who support and appreciate our vision, so using Kickstarter and giving our fans the opportunity to be a part of the process just feels right. We see Kickstarter as a home for creative minds and a wonderful platform; where people who believe, respect and see the vision, can support an idea and make it a reality.”
Speaking to VLAD TV, the trio expanded on their reasons, speaking openly, defending their choice to ask fans for money through Kickstarter.
“Kickstarter is the fan who wants to hear the album… they don’t expect a profit,” they say, comparing Kickstarter to a company like Koch who might lend them money. They address the rumours that they’re broke and begging (they aren’t,) that they’re stingy (they’re not) and that the money they earn is going straight to the project (it is.)
They don’t want to deal with an establishment or a label, so they need to do it themselves. And this is how they’re doing it.
Watch the full clip below.