Latest in the war on bootlegging -- De La Soul added sounds of braying donkeys to deter reviewers from leaking ''Buhloone Mind State''

By James Bernard
Updated September 10, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

Music critics who received advance copies of De La Soul’s latest, Buhloone Mind State (Sept. 21 release), were treated to 13 new songs whose principal accompanist was a braying donkey. Another one of the hip-hoppers’ musical innovations? Nope, just the latest weapon in the war against bootlegging and the bigger problem of review tapes leaking out. ”With these noises, someone would be deterred from leaking it to radio stations, or actually enjoying it,” says De La Soul front man Posdnuos. ”This way, if you have one of these tapes, you would still have to go out and buy the CD when it came out in the stores. And if I hear bootleg copies on the street, I can tell where it came from.” It remains to be seen how successful a deterrent the donkey sound will be; some reviewers have told Posdnuos that the intermittent, high-pitched braying kind of grows on you.