Just four days after Diddy’s viral Grammy speech, former Bad Boy Records artist, Ma$e, is questioning the sincerity behind his former boss’ spiel on hip hop culture.
Ma$e, born Mason Durell Betha, took to Instagram as he indulged his followers with a story about how he attempted to buy back his masters from the hip hop mogul.
View this post on Instagram
@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
While Diddy shared a lengthy message alongside Tyler, The Creator, about the Academy’s state of diversity, Betha says change has to come to from within the culture. He continued by saying that Diddy’s refusal to sell Betha his masters for $2 million “is not black excellence at all. When our own race is enslaving us”.
Betha revealed that Diddy had initially purchased his masters for $20,000 – a move that has hurt Betha’s ability to maximise his revenue.
Diddy, who has been vocal in recent years about ‘black excellence’ in the industry, may now be having his character questioned by many on the back of Betha’s latest post. And while it is difficult to prove that any of this is true, Diddy has been accused of mistreating artists in the past.
In 2005, tensions began to arise between hip-hop group, The LOX and Diddy after the group expressed their desire to be dropped from the label. The group later began the ‘Free The LOX’ campaign and eventually their wishes were granted. All was not well however.
In November of 2005, members of the group, Jadakiss and Styles P expressed their frustations with Diddy, despite being dropped from the label. According to the artists, Diddy still owned 50% of their publishing, with Jadakiss insinuating he would drop a refrigerator on Diddy’s head.
Diddy did respond to their claims saying that he owned 20% of their publishing and made $400,000 off The Lox. However a legal representative for The Lox provided documents that contradicted Diddy’s statement.
Diddy’s history with The LOX is telling. With Diddy lying about his business ventures with The Lox, Ma$e may actually have some credibility to his accusations. After all, Ma$e has been frustrated about his dealings before with Diddy.
Artists Managing Artists
The music business is shady. That’s a given. Artists have been getting ripped off since the beginning of time. Diddy evokes this same sentiment as well, feeling like the Academy continues to rip off hip hop artists. But if what Ma$e is saying is true, Diddy may be a contributing cause to the machine that is the industry.
“Someone who didn’t know about the industry. [He] took advantage of somebody. Even back then, [20 grand] was chump change compared to what they were selling. It was bullshit money. Now you’re at a point where you’re going to stand on stage and speak this thing, which is dope, cool. But make shit right with the artist you have wrong shit with” – Mal on The Joe Budden Podcast
This isn’t the first time that an artist has opened up about the poor business dealings between themselves and another artist. In 2016, Lil Wayne accused label founder, Birdman, of spending more than $70 million of Wayne’s $100 million advance. While he did eventually settle in 2018 with “well over $10 million”, Wayne’s story shook hip-hop. Birdman brought Wayne into the culture and for a period, he was also the one to lock him out of it.
Wayne’s story wasn’t the first of shady artist dealings and while we can only hope for change, it doesn’t seem like Ma$e will be the last to be fighting back for his masters.
Subscribe to FIB’s newsletter for your weekly dose of music, fashion and pop culture news!