Music and entertainment mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs is continuing to not only talk the talk but walk the walk. In a historic move that will likely ignite astronomical change in the music industry, the founder of Bad Boy Records has decided to reassign the label’s publishing rights to the artists and songwriters who helped make the company the powerhouse it is today.
Since its inception, the music industry has always had a certain way of doing things in regard to making its earnings. As many know, record companies usually keep the publishing rights of songs made by artists signed to them. However, even though this has been common practice, it’s been criticized over the years because of the imbalance it can potentially create as the record labels reap the huge financial benefits from artists’ hard work.
When Combs launched Bad Boy Records in 1993, he followed this same format. But, as time passed, so did his perspective on the matter. When he signed The Notorious B.I.G., the now-mogul paid the star out of his own pockets because of how much he believed in him and also paid Biggie a portion of his publishing rights.
Now, Combs is taking things a major step forward. Companies have reached out to the founder, offering him 100s of millions of dollars, to purchase Bad Boy Records’ publishing. However, instead of accepting these proposals, he’s decided to reassign them to their respective artists. Bad Boy stars such as Faith Evans, Ma$e, The LOX, 112, as well as Biggie’s estate, and more are among the artists and writers who now own their publishing from the label.
Combs hopes that his unprecedented move will inspire the music industry to follow suit as he continues to be disruptive and change the status quo. He wants to see more creators flourish and profit as much as possible from their work, hopefully sparking a new way the biz compensates future ones.
Combs sees this as a part of a larger conversation to further economic empowerment for Black artists and culture. Only time will tell if this move does just that. But, for right now, in a business such as music that has historically been about making profits off the backs of creators, Combs’ wish is to, instead, reward the culture and develop a new legacy for Black artists to be paid and recognized for making the music that we all love.
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