De La Soul have clearly got the free giveaway bug. Fresh from making their entire back catalogue available as free downloads in exchange for fans’ email addresses (Bulletin, 14-Feb-14), the group has now teamed up with BitTorrent for the release of their new mixtape. ‘Smell the DA.I.S.Y.’ sees the rap trio rhyming over production from late star J Dilla over the course of 11 tracks. The mixtape is being released as a BitTorrent bundle with a video and wallpaper thrown in for good measure, with fans encouraged to donate to the J Dilla Foundation charity, which funds music initiatives in inner-city schools. As with previous BitTorrent bundles, fans unlock all the content by providing their email addresses, signing up to both De La Soul and BitTorrent’s Bundle mailing lists. And that’s the key to how this fits into the group’s strategy, as they prepare for the release of a brand new album-proper later in the year. The two giveaways are essentially building a big mailing list for De La Soul, which can then be used to promote paid albums and gigs in the months and years to come.

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