Just in time for Easter, De La Soul have concocted their own brand of egg hunt. Two months after the hip-hop trio gave away its entire discography for free, it has placed 100 vinyl copies of instrumental mixes from its recent mixtape Smell the Da.I.S.Y. in record stores around the U.S., U.K. and Canada. The record is a tribute to producer J Dilla, who died in 2006 of a rare blood disease and complications from lupus, and finds De La Soul rapping over previously unreleased Dilla production. The trio initially distributed the mixtape through BitTorrent, which has emailed hints to fans. The records will hit stores on April 18th, the Friday before both Record Store Day (April 19th) and Easter Sunday.
The 12-inch is designed to resemble the tapes that Dilla would send to A Tribe Called Quest, the Roots, Talib Kweli, Mos Def and, of course, De La Soul, among others. The BitTorrent Bundle was originally released to raise awareness for the J Dilla Foundation, which funds inner-city music programs and provides scholarships to students attending schools with “progressive music curricula.”
“The reason we choose to release an all-instrumental version of Smell The Da.I.S.Y. is to give people the experience of a J Dilla beat tape that we were so lucky to receive,” De La Soul’s Dave Jolicoeur said in a statement. “These beat tapes were the springboard that generated creation and inspiration for us.”
The group’s marketing director, Brandon Hixon, likes it for a far more frustrating reason, though. He said, “The best part about this release is that nobody will know exactly where it is.”