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The 20-year feud between semi-retired Harlem World rapper Mase and his former mentor Diddy took an unexpected twist last week when it was revealed that the two men might have more in common than previously imagined by fans. Mase was dubbed “Diddy 2.0” after burgeoning Brooklyn artist Fivio Foreign appeared on the Million Dollaz Worth Of Game podcast and claimed that he’d only received a paltry pittance of $5,000 to sign to Mase’s RichFish imprint early in his career.
Mase, who claimed that Diddy only gave him a $20,000 dollar advance in the ’90s in exchange for signing away his publishing, must have thought that he looked bad in light of passing on the misfortune to another artist. So this week, he went on Million Dollaz Worth Of Game himself to clear the air and explain that the situation wasn’t as bad as Fivio made it out to be. According to Mase, the real amount he offered was actually much larger — about $745,000 larger, in fact.
“I had to put a file together of all the history that was left out,” Mase says in the video above. “At one time I gave him $5,000, but I gave him $750,000.” He elaborates that he structured Fivio’s RichFish deal so that he could remain involved as Fivio negotiated contracts with major labels such as Def Jam and Columbia. Mase then proceeds to show hosts Gillie Da Kid and Wallo267 documents on his phone — even going as far as calling execs at Columbia on the air — that show that he tried to be fair to Fivio and give him 50/50 on all their splits.
Of course, what with Fivio admitting he didn’t know the business well at the time, it’s entirely possible that he misunderstood how things worked (it’s happened before and will likely happen again). It’s also possible that Mase is flimflamming in order to make himself out to be the hero of the narrative. As with any of these situations, the facts are likely somewhere in the middle and the details are being muddled in the retelling. In the end, I think the big takeaway is that the music business needs some serious overhauls to ensure transparency and fairness for artists and the business people who help make them stars.