Sean “Diddy” Combs is arguably one of the most successful Black men in the music industry. He signed dozens of artists to his label, Bad Boy Entertainment, and kickstarted the career of legendary artists like The Notorious B.I.G, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci and others.
The music icon opened up about his monumental success on “The Breakfast Club” on Wednesday, Oct. 5, where he discussed working with Ma$e. DJ Envy asked about rumors of his shady contract deals, which Ma$e previously spoke of back in August.
“See I didn’t do nothing to him,” Diddy expressed. “First of all there has been negative propaganda out there about me that’s not true and has really stained…tried to stain my legacy. I’ve always been a person that don’t like to just talk people’s business and things like that. But not right now, I have made it my purpose that when I come back I can’t have y’all following me because I came here to be a leader and give some direction.”
“My name is Diddy…Sean Combs,” he continued. “I never took nothing from nobody a day in my life. All I’ve ever given was opportunity and more money than a person was making.” He later added, “I came here and opened up the doors.”
Charlamagne Tha God stopped and asked the music executive to confirm that he did not steal money from anyone despite other narratives spread in the media. He responded, “Never.”
The Grammy-wining icon suggested artists who hit “the tap-out button” on the industry sometimes want someone to “blame” for not reaching a certain level of success. He plans to sit down with former Bad Boy artists to put all the cards on the table.
“I have all my receipts and so we’re going to do a special, a retrospective with all the artists, and we’re going to get this narrative clear,” Diddy declared. “Because it comes from different tactics when people want to get out of contracts. A lot of people that speak on this, y’all don’t know the business, y’all don’t know what y’all are talking about.”
He’s hopeful the discussion will be a “moment of love,” but he said he can no longer allow false stories to tarnish his legacy and reputation.
“I’m going to fight for my reputation. I’m going to fight for the honorable man I am. The righteous king that I am,” said the 52-year-old. “I’m not perfect. There could have been an accountant mess up on this one or that one and things that happened in the business. But me actually running a hustle to get money?”
The father of six then reminded the hosts of his come-up story, which began with delivering newspapers at 12 years old. After interning for Uptown Records and becoming director of A&R, he became a millionaire by age 19.
“So I will be making sure that the truth comes out because that’s not going down in my legacy. And to me, that’s like the worst thing in the world is a thief. His or her hand should be chopped off.”
He took it upon himself to get more specific about Ma$e’s claims, revealing he only produced one album with him. “How much money do you think I owe this guy? One album and then you became a fake pastor and conned people. Then y’all let him throw dirt on God’s name?
“Anybody can step up. Bring your receipts. I’m not playing. I’m back outside and I’m fighting back for us and I’mma also do a little fighting back for me.”
When Charlamagne asked how much money Ma$e owed him, Diddy replied, “Ma$e owes me $3 million. That’s facts. I got the receipt.”
He claims he refuses to go back and forth with Ma$e, but felt the need to speak up to bring the truth to light. “But we gon’ get to the truth. As long as I’m outside,” he said. “Not trying to start nothing with nobody. Ma$e, I love Ma$e. And I will tell anybody, anybody thinks I owe them something, show me the receipt. You get paid in 24 hours.”
The “Tell Me What You Want” rapper caught wind of Diddy’s comments and responded on Instagram. “He just [three angry emojis] I did not want him to come on stage with me to give his fake apology. You’re high chill out!🥲[crying emoji, five laughing emojis] I’M GOOD LOVE, [red heart emoji]” he wrote.
Over the years, several artists have accused Diddy of mismanaging his artists and not paying them for their work. Many are former artists of his record label, Bad Boy Entertainment, including The Lox. The rap trio who signed to Bad Boy in 1994, have also accused Diddy taking millions.
Many recall the heated exchange between Diddy and group members Jadakiss and Styles P on Hot 97, according to AllHipHop.com. In 2005, Diddy called into the radio show after the pair revealed he was holding their publishing rights hostage, in which Jadakiss threatened to throw a refrigerator at him. The pair returned to the show later to reveal their dispute had been resolved.
Former Danity Kane singer Aubrey O’Day also called out her former boss in 2020, a boss she claims has “mismanaged artists & stolen money his whole career.”
Meanwhile, Ma$e has continued to discuss his struggles with the mogul for decades. The former rapper is best known for his opening lyrics on the Notorious B.I.G.’s track “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems.” He released two albums under Bad Boy before leaving the industry in 1999, including his bestselling debut, “Harlem World” and “Double Up.” That same year, the “Feel So Good” artist became an ordained minister but still periodically returned to stages for Bad Boy tribute performances and tours. Fans welcomed the artist out of retirement in 2004, with the release of his third album, “Welcome Back.”
Ma$e has adamantly accused Diddy of underpaying him and ripping off other Bad Boy artists. He crashed Diddy’s live radio interview in 2009, with a pen and documents about his release from the label, according to Okayplayer.
In January 2020, Diddy criticized the controversial Grammy Awards during his pre-Grammys speech, which caused Ma$e to reminisce on his early days under Bad Boy. In a since-deleted tweet, he offered the “Gotta Move On” artist $2 million to buy back his publishing rights “as his biggest artist alive.”