Diddy gives back to the artists on his Bad Boy Records label by returning their lucrative publishing rights… after turning down an offer of hundreds of MILLIONS to buy the song rights
It’s become common for major musicians to sell off their publishing rights or master recordings to corporations in exchange for massive payoffs.
But Diddy has surprisingly bucked the trend of selling out by instead helping out the artists who were signed to his Bad Boy Records label.
The 53-year-old rapper-turned-mogul (real name: Sean Combs) is now returning publishing rights previously held by the label to the original artists, according to TMZ.
The move to help out artists who worked for him comes shortly after Diddy donated $2 million to Black initiatives at Invest Fest and the Jackson State University Development Fund late last month.
According to sources family with the matter, Diddy isn’t just giving back the rights, but he’s turning down offers worth potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to do so.
Giving back: Diddy, 53, has returned publishing rights held by Bad Boy Records to the rapper Ma$e, and sources tell TMZ that he will be giving more artists with the label their publishing rights back; seen in 2019 in Virginia
Cam’ron seemed to reveal part of the arrangement in an Instagram post from last week.
He wrote that his friend Ma$e, a former artist for Bad Boy, had ‘got his publishing back from Puff’ and ‘just finished the paper work for that yesterday.
‘Congrats @rsvpmase while he getting his music back in order,’ he added.
However, sources claim that Ma$e is only one of several former Bad Boy artists who will be able to reclaim their publishing rights.
Bad Boy Records’ most famous artist was undoubtedly the Notorious B.I.G., who was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1997.
Biggie (real name: Christopher Wallace) was good friends with Diddy, who paid tribute to him after his death.
Now the late rapper’s estate will reportedly be able to take back some of his publishing rights after signing a deal with the label.
Others reportedly benefiting from the arrangement include Faith Evans, The Lox, 112 and others.
Because Diddy own all of their publishing rights, he would have been able to see it off after he was reportedly approached for a massive nine-figure deal, but now he appears to be letting the original artists take charge of their music again.
Of course, several of them have hits of their own and other popular songs, so they may not be able to make smaller deals to sell off their rights for lump sums.
Sources claim that Diddy wants to ‘revolutionize’ the music industry, which has been moving toward consolidation in recent years, with large corporations and hedge funds taking control from artists and smaller record labels.
Big news: Cam’ron announced last week that Ma$e had signed a deal to get his publishing rights back
Turned down a payday: Diddy reportedly turned down an offer worth hundreds of millions to sell the publishing rights for Bad Boy Records’ artists, but instead he’s returning them to many of his former acts; seen in 2019 in LA
Better late than never: The estate of the late Notorious B.I.G. is among the entities that have reported signed a deal to get his publishing rights back; seen in 1995 in NYC
Taking control: Faith Evans (pictured in 2019) has also reportedly gotten her publishing back. The move comes as hedge funds are trying to buy up as many songwriting catalogues as possible
That trend is partly responsible for the shrinking earnings many professional musicians are seeing, even seemingly successful artists, though the changing nature of music purchase and consumer habits also has made music less lucrative over time.
However, Diddy’s move to return publishing rights to his former artists could be a major boost to their bottom lines.
Sources compared the move to his recent string of charitable donations.
They added that he hopes that other executives and record labels will follow suit. However, trends have been for labels and companies to take more money and control from artists over time, so it may be hard to counteract all that inertia.