Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Diddy Rewrites the Rules: Returns Bad Boy Publishing to Original Creators

Photo Courtesy Combs Global
In a remarkable Labor Day gesture, Sean "Diddy" Combs, the iconic founder of Bad Boy Records, has sent shockwaves through the music industry by deciding to transfer the cherished Bad Boy publishing rights back to the very artists and songwriters who played pivotal roles in the label's meteoric rise. A source intimately familiar with the situation confirmed this unprecedented move to Variety.

This historic decision encompasses a constellation of talents, including the estate of the late, great Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, Ma$e, the Lox, 112, and many other creators. The combined value of these assets is conservatively estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Recent years have witnessed a substantial surge in the valuation of music catalogs. Esteemed artists and estates, such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Genesis and Luther Vandross, have inked nine-figure deals, selling or partially selling the rights to their musical treasures. Despite receiving multiple multimillion-dollar offers for Bad Boy's publishing catalog, Diddy has taken an extraordinary step by redirecting these rights back to the original songwriters.

Mase, a multiplatinum Bad Boy rapper, is one of the beneficiaries of this benevolent act. In a candid Instagram post by Cam'ron, a close friend and frequent collaborator of Mase, he congratulated Mase on regaining his publishing rights, stating, "My n***a [Mase] had to sit this one out. He just got his publishing back from Puff. Just finished the paperwork for that yesterday."

Notably, during the 1990s, it was customary for record labels or label owners to retain a portion of an artist's publishing rights as part of recording contracts. However, with artists and songwriters increasingly recognizing the inherent value of these rights, the industry has been evolving towards more equitable arrangements.

Diddy sees this groundbreaking move as part of his broader mission to promote economic empowerment for Black artists and culture. Simultaneously, he is gearing up for the release of his highly anticipated album, "The L.O.V.E. Album: Off the Grid," featuring a star-studded lineup including Justin Bieber, the Weeknd, Swae Lee, Mary J. Blige, and others. The album is scheduled to drop on September 15.

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