De La Soul is good at rapping, bad at internet. For decades, the native tongues trio has been touted as hip-hop dignitaries; responsible for driving jazz rap, skits and playful verses as the genre approached its global crescendo in the early 90s.
25 years and seven albums later, they’re giving it all away for free—sort of. A few weeks shy of the anniversary of De La’s debut, 3 Feet High And Rising, the group released free downloads of their discography as a 25-hour Valentine’s Day giveaway. De La Soul has struggled to get their music on the web due to red tape and their heavy use of samples. This “Spreading Love” campaign was their next best (pirated?) alternative and was met with considerable press, impressive social media buzz and new fans.
This just in! De La Soul: good at rapping, bad at internet! pic.twitter.com/21WYg6JqKs— Andy Mangold (@andymangold)February 14, 2014
There was a lot that went right with the campaign—free music, what?! But as the Twittersphere quickly noted, De La Soul’s strategy was riddled with tech fails and missed opportunities. Here’s some tough love on how De La Soul and team could’ve gotten even better results (in no particular order):