In an email to fans to annoucning the release of the single, De La Soul explained the impact of “The People” and what the track means to the trio: “The lyrics are commentaries of our struggles and successes, our weaknesses and strengths… the experiences… and the trials and tribulations we have faced as human beings, a race, and as individuals.”
The track, available for free download on De La Soul’s website, was originally slated to drop back in June, but was held due to some drama caused by heated words exchanged between Chuck D and Hot 97/Peter Rosenberg.
Rescheduled for a Black Friday release, De La Soul decided to drop “The People” after the non-indictment verdict was announced for Officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Mike Brown.
“Somehow this song was destined to be a part of something more than just dropping a joint. We hope it will lend itself to something positive in these difficult times,” De La Soul wrote to their fans.
A t-shirt and sweatshirt were created for the song, with proceeds from the sales being donated to All Star Code and I Love Ferguson. All Star Code is an organization dedicated to helping under-served youth make their way into the tech industry, and I Love Ferguson is dedicated to rebuilding the town of Ferguson, MO.
De La Soul ended their email to fans asking them to “spread the love” by sharing this link: http://goo.gl/wdFIF1 accompanied by the hastags #thepeople and #itstime before signing out with “Until next time, love, peace, and soul.”