Mase Says Diddy Is Still Robbing And Enslaving Artists
Last Saturday night (January 25), Diddy made an impassioned speech ahead of the 62nd annual Grammy Awards. The Bad Boy Records founder and veteran artist/producer threatened to boycott the televised event if things do not change in the next 365 days. He asked others to do the same.
“In the great words of Erykah Badu, ‘we are artists; we are sensitive about our sh*t.’ We are passionate. For most of us, this is all we got. This is our only hope. Truth be told, Hip-Hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys,” declared the speaker, who received the Icon Award at an official pre-Grammy gala event.
A few moments later, Puff stated, “I’m officially starting the clock: y’all got 365 days to get this sh*t together. We need the artists to take back the control. We need transparency. We need diversity. This is the room that has the power to make a change that needs to be made. They have to make the changes for us. [The Recording Academy] is a non-profit organization that is supposed to protect the welfare of the musical community. That [is] the mission statement.” Suggesting an organized boycott on the horizon, Puffy reminded those in the crowd of their ability to prompt change. “We have the power. We decide what’s hot. If we don’t go, nobody goes. If we don’t support, nobody supports. We control what’s cool, we control what’s hot, we control what your kids listen to, what they dance to, we control what’s in video games, we control how they wear their pants.” JAY-Z, Swizz Beatz, and others in attendance gave Puff Daddy a standing ovation during and after his remarks at Beverly Hills, California. Ma$e, one of Bad Boy’s former stars and a onetime protege of Diddy, was among the performers at the same event.
Today (January 31), Mason Betha has publicly reacted to the newsworthy speech. He did so by calling out Diddy and asking for a different kind of action. In an Instagram post the Harlem MC accused Puff on “unfair” business practices. Tagging Puff in the post, Ma$e writes, “I heard your Grammy speech about how you are now for the artist, and about how the artist must take back control. So I will be the first to take that initiative. Also, before we ask of other ethnicities to do us right, we should do us, as Black people, better—especially the creators.” The Harlem World creator urged Diddy to walk it like he is talking it.
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@diddy I heard your #Grammy speech about how u are now for the artist and about how the artist must take back control. So I will be the first to take that initiative. Also, before we ask of other ethnicities to do us right we should do us as black people better. Especially the creators. I heard u loud and clear when u said that u are now for the artist and to that my response is if u want to see change you can make a change today by starting with yourself. 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. 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 after u know someone is robbing you & tarnishing your name when u don’t want to comply w/ his horrendous business model. However, people would always ask what’s up w/ Mase? So I would be forced to still perform to not look crazy when I was getting peanuts and the robbery would continue. So many great moments and people lives in music were lost. But again, I rode with u in the face of death without flinching & u still wouldn’t do right. I never said anything because I wanted to wait until I was financially great so I can ensured that I was addressing this from a pure place and not out of spite. To add insult, u keep screaming black excellence and love but I know love isn’t free. So I offered u 2m in cash just a few days ago to sell me back my publishing(as his biggest artist alive) that always show u respect for u giving me an opportunity at 19 yrs old. Your response was if I can match what the EUROPEAN GUY OFFER him that would be the only way I can get it back. Or else I can wait until I’m 50 years old and it will revert back to me from when I was 19 years old. You bought it for about 20k & I offered you 2m in cash. This is not black excellence at all. When our own race is enslaving us. If it’s about us owning, it can’t be about us owning each other. No More Hiding Behind “Love”. U CHANGED? GIVE THE ARTIST BACK THEIR $$$. So they can take care of their families
Ma$e argues that Puffy gave him $20,000 for his publishing 24 years ago, in 1996. That was the same year that Murda Ma$e’s career started to boom, following an appearance alongside The Notorious B.I.G. on 112’s “Only You” remix. Ma$e wrote, who likened the deal to robbery, called it “a horrendous business model.”
The onetime pastor added that he felt “forced” to perform. In recent years, he joined 112, The LOX, and others on a Bad Boy reunion tour. Ma$e feels as though the ’90s and 2000s business messed up several careers. “So many great moments and [artists’] lives in music were lost. But again, I rode with you in the face of death, without flinching, and you still wouldn’t do right. I never said anything, because I wanted to wait until I was financially great.” The rapper continues, “To add insult, you keep screaming ‘Black Excellence,’ and ‘love,’ but I know love isn’t free.” Ma$e adds that he recently tried to acquire his publishing with a seven-figure offer on the table. “So I offered you [$2 million] in cash just a few days ago to sell me back my publishing.”
Calling himself Bad Boy’s biggest living artist, Ma$e says it was a tribute to the opportunity. “[I wanted to] show you respect for you giving me an opportunity at 19 years old.” Ma$e alleges that Puffy asked the former artist to increase his offer to match another interested party, reportedly a European man. He also says that the publishing will revert back to him in approximately 30 more years. “You bought it for about [$20,000] and I offered you [$2 million] in cash. This is not Black Excellence at all when your own race is enslaving you.” He ended the post with a resolution: “Give your artists back their [so] that they can take care of their families.” As an image to the Instagram post, Ma$e used Philadelphia, Pennsylvania rapper Meek Mill. In a quote, Meek brought up “slave contracts” offered to Black artists in the music business by people of other races. The rapper also cited Roc Nation and his Dreamchasers imprint as companies that combat that trend.
Ma$e is not the first Bad Boy artist to call out the label’s founder. In the mid-2000s, The LOX appeared on The Angie Martinez Show. As Jadakiss, Styles P, and Sheek Louch vented their frustrations with the trio’s former label, Diddy called in. The two parties argued on air. As recently as this month, Jada’ has insisted that he and Puffy are on great terms today.
Another trio, De La Soul, has been battling with former label Tommy Boy Entertainment over the publishing and masters to the group’s first six albums. Using social media, De La called for a boycott in 2019. Negotiation attempts have reportedly ended in a stalemate. Those six albums remain unreleased to popular streaming platforms.
This week, veteran Brooklyn, New York MC Sauce Money also responded to Diddy’s remark as well as JAY-Z. Having worked with both mogul, the former Priority Records artist criticized Puff and Jay:
Just watched @Diddy Icon acceptance speech at the @RecordingAcad and I can honestly say I respect the message, just not coming from him. He practices the same backdoor politics against his own people. Him and his friend Jay Z. If the Grammys on the clock, then y’all are too!
— TheRealSauceMoney (@saucemoney) January 27, 2020
“He practices the same backdoor politics on his own people. Him and JAY-Z.” Sauce said that if the Grammys are on the clock, so are these two men.
Diddy has not yet responded to Ma$e’s remarks.