Over the weekend, many were left grappling with a disturbing open letter from Mase to Diddy. Essentially, the former Bad Boy lyricist called hypocrisy on Diddy‘s pledge for black ownership in music, detailing his own experience being signed in an unfair publishing deal. Given the increasing distrust of major labels and their practices, it wasn’t surprising to see a debate on the topic explored. Naturally, the guys over at the Joe Budden Podcast had some interesting and engaging takes on the subject.
Mal gives a riveting rendition of Mase‘s open letter to Puffy, which details a two-million-dollar offer spurned by the Bad Boy CEO. After laughing that Mase is “snitching,” Budden declares himself to be on Diddy’s side. “Even if they did this correctly, how much publishing do you think he was giving Mase?” asks Joe. “If me and [Parks] do a song, before the song is released, we have to get on the phone and go back and forth about publishing. Who owns what percentage of what record. Those are the conversations that should be shared more.”
Mal interjects that Mase wrote the majority of Puffy’s music, but Joe feels that business is business. “Let’s say that Mase at nineteen knew everything there was to know about publishing. He would have to have the conversation, the back and forth. If the conversation were to be hard, how much do you think he’s coming away with…I’m Puff, coming off all these successful albums, and I have a sound and a formula and a look that’s going to work. I also have the relationships, I have everything. With that said, yes you can rap but I’m going to come in there and construct everything with you and change your life.”
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“What happened here is wrong,” he continues. “20k for fifty years, I don’t know nothin’ about that. But if everything happened correctly, I don’t think Mase is walking away with a lot of his pub at all.” After Parks maintains that he’s on Mase’s side, Budden interjects. “I think all of us with a heart will read this and say something isn’t right. But whatever is done got done. We’re in 2020 and let’s assume the Harlem World publishing is worth what…I have it at eight figures, that’s my guess. In 2020, you come to me and offer two mill for something worth eight-figures. How many people do you know today that’s honoring that and giving it back?”
Mal feels that if someone did some “fucked up shit back in the day,” they should make it right when given the chance. “[He] still gave a new artist a shitty deal,” says Mal. “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…The bottom line is, the deal happened over twenty years ago. We know what we know about business, Mase was nineteen back then, happy to make some money, be driving a nice car. Now, when you learn the business, it’s like damn, you gave me a fucked up deal.”
Joe claims that it’s still going on, further Mal’s point. “You can’t preach this if we enslaving each other,” he continues. “You speaking all this ownership this, ownership that but it’s like, you still signing these young cats off the streets who don’t know about the business, and ya’ll raping them. Ya’ll taking advantage. If it was a white label owner, we’d be going crazy.” Check it out below, with the discussion sparking up around the seventy-minute mark.