Ahead of Sunday night’s Grammys, Diddy, who was a guest of the Pre-Grammy Gala accepting the President’s Merit Award, gave a speech that had a rousing effect on many in the music industry as well as observers. In it, he asserted that the Grammys — and by extension, the recording industry at large — had never respected Black music or artists. It was an argument that resonated across the internet — except with one of the artists Diddy’s speech referred to. Ironically, it was one of his own former artists who shot back.
Mase, who was once an integral member of Diddy’s pivotal Bad Boy Records roster back when Diddy was still just Puff Daddy, hit Instagram with a rebuttal after becoming aware of the speech. Posting a screenshot of Meek Mill’s tweet agreeing with Diddy, Mase added an extensive caption addressing his personal problem with Puff’s argument.
“I heard your #Grammy speech about how u are now for the artist and about how the artist must take back control,” he wrote. “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.”
After asserting that Puff had essentially robbed him for over two decades, Mase then explained the effect that this had on his career. “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.”
The conversation of unpaid royalties has come up multiple times this week, as Kelis also took Pharrell to task for “lying and tricking” her out of her publishing for Kaleidoscope. The conversation calls to mind the fractious relationship between iconic hip-hop moguls’ capitalistic successes and their social consciousness. While they can call out the wider industry, it seems it’s also imperative that they sweep their own porches first.
Read Mase’s reaction to Diddy’s Grammys speech above.