Sean “Diddy” Combs says he and Mase are back on good terms two weeks after the Bad Boy Records founder redistributed song publishing rights to the ’90s rapper and other artists formerly on the label.
Mase, whose presence and performances were instrumental to the early success of Bad Boy (watch 1997’s “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” above), had publicly taken issue with Combs several years ago, saying he had offered Combs $2 million for the publishing rights to his songs but was denied and that Diddy had “been extremely unfair.”
“Everything’s cool and good now,” Combs said in an interview with Billboard published this week. “You know, we’re brothers and brothers fight. I love him and that’s it.”
Combs began the process of reassigning the music rights back to Mase and other former Bad Boy artists or their estates such as Notorious B.I.G. and Faith Evans in 2021 not long after Mase made the comments, which he posted on Instagram around the time Combs received the 2020 Industry Icon award at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala.
“Your past business practices knowingly has continued purposely starved your artist and been extremely unfair to the very same artist that helped u obtain that Icon Award on the iconic Badboy label,” Mase wrote in a since-deleted IG post. “For example, u still got my publishing from 24 years ago in which u gave me $20k. Which makes me never want to work w/ u as any artist wouldn’t… This is not Black excellence at all.”
In the Billboard interview, Combs said he decided to do the transferral of rights in May or June 2021 after he “was put in a position where I felt like I had to look in the mirror.”
Combs said at the time he was “holding the Grammys to task” and getting big offers for the Big Boy catalogue.
“I had to make sure that what I was standing for was my total truth,” Combs said.
“We live in a time where things are constantly evolving,” he added. “And it was about reform for me. It was me looking at ways I could reform things as a person that’s been asking for change. It was just the right and obvious thing to do; something I’m proud I did.
“As a businessman, there comes a time when you have to pick purpose over profit,” Combs told Billboard. “I’m glad that I’ve seen both sides. As a businessman, I’ve evolved and was blessed to be in a position to give the publishing back.”
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