Mason Betha had time on Friday.
Mase’s former boss and partner in crime –Diddy- made a rousing speech while accepting an honor at the annual Clive Davis pre-Grammy’s Gala.
Diddy scolded the Grammy’s for “never respecting Black music” over the span of its 62-year history, and he’s correct. All our favorite genres–R&b, hip-hop, Rock n Roll, — have origins with the Black American experience and yet Black artists account for a tiny percentage of Grammy wins over time.
The most venerable and respected award-giving entity failing to bestow awards strictly based on quality and merit should be called out. And it’s incumbent upon the P. Diddys of the world—prominent black gatekeepers in music—to speak against the unfair status quo. Diddys’ screed was justified, righteous and timely.
However, Diddy’s speech lacked introspection.
Diddy shaped Bad Boy into a juggernaut while Bad Boy artists worked under woefully unfavorable deals. The publishing ordeal between Puff and The Lox immediately comes to mind. The Lox; young and naïve, and without a lawyer representing them, signed a record deal giving Puff ownership of their publishing rights in perpetuity. It led to the trio leaving Bad Boy records on angry terms in 1999. Jadakiss threatened to throw a refrigerator at Diddy, Diddy threatened to sue. Styles and Sheik aired out their grievances through a sit down with Hot 97.
During the interview with Angie Martinez, Diddy called in. Saying the issue could be easily resolved and it was by the next day. Diddy chose to relinquish publishing rights back to the LOX, they made amends and have been on friendly terms ever since. Craig Mack, 112, Lil Kim, and Total have had similar ordeals with the bad boy mogul. And so did Mase, who responded to Diddy’s speech with a lengthy and very detailed Instagram post detailing his own treacherous journey through publishing hell with Diddy. Spilling all the tea in this case
It’s worth noting, Diddy’s shady business practices were common throughout the music industry for generations.
Going back to the early days of Jazz and Rock’n’Roll, record companies have found ways to maximize revenues at the expense of those who perform the music by retaining publishing rights. It’s a story told many times over in an industry that will quickly dispose of yesterday’s flavor of the day for whoever has next. Artistic control and independence are relatively new developments in the industry.
Of course, none of this should compromise the substance of the speech made against the Grammys. However, when you’ve been accused of unscrupulous practices toward those who placed trust in you to lead their career, the optics of such a speech will make a hypocrite out of the person giving it.
What do you guys think of Mase’s response to Diddy’s Speech? Was Mase right or wrong?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments