Sean "Diddy" Combs, the founder and CEO of Bad Boy Entertainment, got the opportunity to explain his side of the publishing squabble with The Lox Thursday after the two parties were embroiled in a heated argument on Wednesday, during an interview on New York City's Hot 97.
After much prodding by radio host Angie Martinez of Hot 97, Diddy revealed that he owns 20-percent of The Lox's publishing, not the 50-percent that members Styles P and Jadakiss claimed. Still, a representative of the group sent a document countering the Bad Boy mogul's assertion.
"It's tragic and it's embarrassing that they don't even know the 101's of the industry." Diddy told Martinez. " They don't even know what's going on in their own lives."
Styles P and Jadakiss supposedly went to Hot 97 to promote an upcoming project, but the two Lox members began to express the displeasure of the former contract they had with Sean "Diddy" Combs during their tenure at Bad Boy Entertainment.
"This thing that they portrayed is not right", Diddy stated, " I'm willing to turn it around but not on their tactics."
Although The Lox claim that Diddy has taken millions, Diddy proclaimed that through his 20-percent ownership, he has actually made $400,000.
"They claiming slavery over $1.5 million (which is what he says that they earned at Bad Boy)," Diddy told All Hip-Hop.com, "That aint slavery."
Before the conversation turned heated, Diddy said he extended several offers for The Lox to come up to the Bad Boy offices. "I want them to talk to me face-to-face, stop looking like imbeciles in front of everybody." Diddy continued, " Stop (making it) look as if young Black men that can't handle things, we can meet. This thing that they portrayed is not right.
I'm willing to turn it around, but not [based on] their tactics."
Diddy, who started Bad Boy Records in 1994, signed The Lox in 1996 and released their debut album Money, Power, Respect in 1997.
"I want to see them or any other artist (try this with another label)." Diddy said, "If it wasn't Puff who you know personally, looks like you, hangs out with you, drinks with you - would you ask them to just let me out the contract, No. You aint gonna call Sony with that, because they are not gonna take your call. You not going to call Universal with that, because it's a contract."
The Lox who signed to Ruff Ryders after a "Free The Lox" campaign to get out of what they stated was a slave-like situation and even mocked on their debut album
on Ruff Ryder Records.
"I would have signed that deal", Diddy stated referring to the initial contract with Bad Boy, "But also to keep it real, I would have been so on my business that I would have been at that office trying to make the deal better. Don't feel sorry for people that are lazy and then blame it on the other person. They are not on top of their business, but they need to get on top of it. Forget the beef, the talking reckless Sit down, and handle it. Before you even meet with me, sit down with your accountant for three hours and go over your life. Manage your life, sit at home by yourself and read your contract word for word. There are books that I have for them [like] Publishing 101."
Although Diddy states that he is more than willing to discuss business with his former artists, he doesnt agree with how they voiced their displeasure.
"This isn't gangsta. This isn't even manly. This is borderline funny-style. When you got a situation, you handle it man to man. Angie can't help the situation, New York can't help it. You gotta help yourself. You come and see me so I can teach you. I think you gonna thank me. I invested in and I believed in you. You believed in me and I believed in y'all. (If you have problems with me), call me. Don't make a mixtape, you call me because I don't play those games."
After the heated and very public argument that ensued on Hot 97 airwaves, Diddy states there is no beef.
"I have no problem with The Lox. I am definitely grateful with the time I had with them. I can only get worked up over real beef and this aint beef."
Incidentally, The Notorious B.I.G.s mother called the radio to offer some words to Lil Cease who called Hot 97 and complained that Diddy retained the late rappers publishing. Wallace said he should mind his business and that she was working closely with Diddy on the upcoming Biggie Duets album.