The music business is normally ruthless in its prioritization of profit above all else, but TMZ reports that hip hop mogul Diddy has gone in a different direction by closing deals with numerous artists on his Bad Boy Records label that gives them back their publishing rights. And in so doing, he’s said to be walking away from an enormous sum of money, somewhere in the nine-figure range.
One of the most notable of these artists is Mase, who has publicly criticized Diddy over his business practices in the past. In January of 2020, Billboard reported that the rapper claimed to have offered $2 million to Diddy for his own master recordings, only to be turned down. A recent Instagram post from Cam’ron revealed that Mase had secured a deal with Diddy to own the rights to his own work, and it seems that Diddy has signed similar deals with a variety of other Bad Boy artists, including Faith Evans and the estate of Biggie Smalls. The TMZ story also specifies that lower-profile writers who were working with these artists are also being taken care of in these publishing rights deals.
The deals seem to signal a change of heart for Diddy, who’s been ramping up his philanthropic efforts lately too. Earlier this summer, he followed through on a promise he made at the 2022 BET Awards, donating $1 million to Jackson State University, a historically Black university in Jackson, Mississippi.
The precise financial details of Diddy’s recent Bad Boy artists deals aren’t known, but he had reportedly been approached with offers to buy up the whole Bad Boy catalog by some music business investors, something he would have been within his legal rights to do. He could have gotten hundreds of millions of dollars to sign over those rights, but instead he opted to get them back to the artists that created the work in the first place, a truly rare move in music.