After launching Bad Boy Records back in 1993, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs has gone on to represent some of the biggest names in hip-hop, and make the label into one of the most influential of all time.

Now, three decades after it first launched, the rapper and music mogul has confirmed that he is returning the music publishing rights back to the artists, rather than selling the catalogue.

According to a report by Rolling Stone, the record label has already contacted numerous clients it represents – including Faith Evans, The Lox and The Notorious B.I.G.’s estate – to arrange to return the rights of their respective work, and the process is currently underway.

At time of writing the terms of the agreement have not yet been made public, however, the move is an unprecedented one for the music industry, and has the capacity to shift the way that big labels manage the rights to an artist’s music.

This comes as the move – which was allegedly first put in place back in 2021 – is a stark contrast to the number of famous musicians selling their catalogue in return for various fortunes in recent years. These include Neil Young, who sold half his catalogue for a reported $150million (£110m), Tina Turner who signed a deal for $300million (£225m), Justin Bieber making an alleged $200million (£166.3million) from his, and Pink Floyd set to bring in around £400million.

Sean “Diddy” Combs. Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As per a statement shared on his behalf, Combs was reportedly offered various offers to acquire Bad Boy’s list for millions, however, turned them all down out of respect for the musicians.

“[The decision is] part of a broader goal of promoting economic empowerment for Black artists and culture,” it read.

The decision also comes after the industry mogul was criticised by fellow rapper Mase back in 2020, who described Diddy as a hypocrite in a now-deleted Instagram post.

“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 Bad Boy label,” Mase wrote at the time also saying that “Black music has never been respected” by the Recording Academy.

He continued, alleging that Combs had rejected a $2million offer to buy back his publishing, even though Mase had only received $20,000 for the rights originally. “This is not black excellence at all,” he added.

Diddy. CREDIT: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

According to rapper Cam’ron, the feud has now been put to one side, and Mase has supposedly completed the necessary paperwork to retrieve his catalogue back from Diddy.

In other news about the rapper, Diddy is set to release his first solo record in 17 years later this month. Titled ‘The Love Album: Off The Grid’, the LP is set to release next Friday (September 15), and features guest appearances from John Legend, Mary J. Blige, The Weeknd and more.

Diddy last released a solo album in the form of 2006’s ‘Press Play’. That record featured the hit single ‘Last Night’ with Keyshia Cole, as well as songs like ‘We Gon’ Make It’, ‘Hold Up’, ‘Come To Me’, ‘Tell Me’ with Christina Aguilera and more.

However, Diddy’s last project was the 2015 mixtape ‘MMM (Money Making Mitch)’, which featured tracks with Future, Big Sean, French Montana, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Kim and more. For that project, he reverted to his name of Puff Daddy.

The post Diddy returning music rights to Bad Boy artists, including Notorious B.I.G. and Faith Evans appeared first on NME.


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