Amid this year’s celebrations around the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, one of the key names in that history – Bad Boy Records – is in the news again.
Founder Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs has announced that he will be reassigning the label’s publishing rights back to the original artists and songwriters behind its catalogue.
According to Revolt, Diddy had been offered “hundreds of millions of dollars” by companies looking to acquire those publishing rights, but instead he decided to return them to the likes of Faith Evans, Ma$e, the estate of The Notorious B.I.G. and others so they can choose whether to cash in themselves.
It’s part of an encouraging, wider trend of labels thinking about how songwriters in particular are treated.
See also (although it’s a different kind of move) Justin Tranter’s Facet Records announcing earlier this year that it would give songwriters a share of its recordings royalties.
The Bad Boy news came as Diddy prepares for the release of his own new album, ‘The Love Album: Off The Grid’, and a high-profile ‘Global Icon’ award at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Cynics might think that the Bad Boy announcement is thus part of his album promo campaign, but whatever the spur, it’s welcome news for Bad Boy’s artists and songwriters.