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Hip-Hop OG’s De La Soul have seen a lot in their nearly 30 years in the game, so transition is nothing new to them.

One of the biggest changes they’ve seen in addition to the sound and reach of Hip-Hop is the relationship between the genre and the money it generates. At one time MC Hammer was labeled a sellout for doing commercials with Pepsi, but fast-forward to now Nicki Minaj is on the Forbes list and considered a mogul-in-the-making for doing the same exact thing.

In an interview with Sway In the Morning, De La Soul talked about how they used to be looked at as “sell outs” because of the tours they went on and the crowds they performed for.

In the clip Dave can be heard saying:

“We was considered sellin’ out…It was difficult, ’cause we just felt we was just like everybody else…It was kind of hard falling to those alternative slots and not being on a bill for a show with your peers—other Rap artists. [We were] performing with Wendy & Lisa, Bob Dylan, Sinhead O’Connor—we was doin’ [shows] like that..Nowadays, you want to sell out. You want to sell out in every format, entity, pocket [that] you can. It’s called ‘branding’ now—extensive branding and extending yourself.”

De La Soul is currently promoting their new album And the Anonymous Nobody that is set to be released in August. The album was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign and features the single “Pain” with Snoop Dogg. The group dropped an EP in May titled For Your Pain & Suffering.

Photo: Press handout

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