In a surprising and fitting gesture, Sean “Diddy” Combs, the founder of Bad Boy Records, has announced that he is transferring the publishing rights of Bad Boy Records back to the artists and writers who played a pivotal role in building the label’s success. This move, reminiscent of Labor Day values, underscores Combs’ commitment to empowering Black artists and culture, according to a source close to the situation as confirmed by Variety on Monday.
The artists and writers benefiting from this decision include the Notorious B.I.G.’s estate, Faith Evans, Ma$e, the Lox, 112, and several other undisclosed creators. While specific details about the transfer are not readily available, these assets are reported to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
In recent years, the value of music catalogs has significantly appreciated, with artists and estates like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Genesis, Luther Vandross, and others striking deals worth nine figures by selling or partially selling their rights. Although Combs has received lucrative offers for the Bad Boy publishing catalog, he has chosen to return these rights to the songwriters. The source also mentioned that most, but not all, of the recipients have been identified, contacted, and have completed the necessary paperwork.
Ma$e, a prominent Bad Boy rapper, has previously raised concerns about money he claims is owed to him by his former mentor, Diddy. In response, Diddy stated on the Breakfast Club in the past year that Ma$e owed him $3 million, a claim that Ma$e vehemently disputed. Ma$e had even offered $2 million to repurchase his publishing rights, which Combs declined.
The news of this publishing rights arrangement was leaked by Cam’ron, a close friend and collaborator of Ma$e, in a recent Instagram post. Cam’ron congratulated Ma$e on regaining his publishing rights from Puff, highlighting the significance of this development.
During the 1990s, it was common for record labels or label owners to take a percentage of an artist’s publishing as part of their music deals. However, this practice has waned as artists and songwriters have become more aware of the value of their publishing rights.
Combs views this decision as part of a broader mission to promote economic empowerment for Black artists and culture. This move aligns with his commitment to supporting and uplifting the creative community.
In addition to this significant announcement, Sean “Diddy” Combs has a new album titled “The L.O.V.E. Album: Off the Grid” set to release on September 15. The album features collaborations with artists like Justin Bieber, the Weeknd, Swae Lee, Mary J. Blige, and others.