A couple of days ago, Diddy aka P Diddy aka Puff Daddy aka Sean Combs announced his international retirement tour. A farewell tour in limited areas because the place that he « will hit, have a special meaning to him ». The hip hop tycoon said he wants to tour the world one last time before fully dedicate himself to pampering and taking care of his twins daughters. Therefore this announcement is the occasion to go back to what is arguably the best and the most controversial achievement of the rapper/entrepreneur his label: Bad Boy Records. Let’s be honest Diddy’s cockiness and self-confidence would make Kanye West look like a priest, but his hunger for self-promotion and his self-oriented work enabled him to reach egregious success in the charts and treated us with some incredible artists who nevertheless experienced difficulties in confirming all the hopes put in their careers. Most of them remained one hit wonders. Hence the untimely demise Notorious BIG will forever remain the only major success of the label commercially as well as critically. Was his fate the proleptic hint of this so-called curse? Diddy’s company didn’t start under the best auspices, as a matter of fact in 1991 during a party/fundraiser thrown for HIV research at New York City College a stampede occurred because of the overcrowded venue and nine people died. A very ominous event that will set the frame of Diddy’s artistic/business environment, that will oscillate between greatness and decay. TRACE decided to set the list of those artists who fell off during or after their Bad Boy deal. ShyneFirst things first you need to know that Diddy likes to replace his former collaborator with sound-alike new ones and Shyne is one of the very conspicuous examples. Shyne who is essentially known for his hit single “Bad Boyz” was the replacement of the late Biggie. Indeed they both share similar vocal characteristics such as their deep voice, their nonchalant flow with that particular way of emphasizing consonants. Unfortunately in 1999 the 21 year old rapper at that time got stopped on his way to the top. He was involved in a shooting during a night out with his former boss and his girlfriend Jennifer Lopez. 3 people tried to get at Diddy then Shyne pulled the trigger in the air 3 times. 3 persons died out of this scuffle. Shyne decided to took it all on him, in sign of allegiance to Diddy, but the latter didn’t show any financial nor moral support through the hardship that his protégé was going through. The fact that he released his debut album while he was in jail and reached the number 5 spot on the billboard 100 is now anecdotic.
If you dare to say that you din’t try to do the Harlem Shake while listening to “Special Delivery” then you’re the biggest liar on this earth. This track was an infectious hit, that had massive airplay on the radios and drove the club nuts back then. Unfortunately because of poor album sales he was released from his contract with the label. In 2010 G-Dep turned himself to the police and confessed an attempted murder he did in 1993! He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in jail. He’s currently serving time in Elmira correctional facility. He later said in a interview that he confessed it because he was “just trying to get things right between himself and God.”
Ma$e : « Lookin at me », « What you want », « Feel so good »….the Harlem native has it all ! The platinum selling rapper was undeniably one of the most efficient and prolific artists of the label. He paved the way for many New York rappers and played a major role in the legacy and reputation of the label internationally. Indeed, Mase’s contribution is tremendous (he ghostwrote Diddy’s first album “No Way Out”). However on May the 4th 1999 during an interview with Funkmaster Flex, he announced his retirement by saying that he wanted to dedicate himself to God. He will later try to come back countless times…in vain.
Loon He is often considered as Ma$e‘s replacement because of the numerous characteristics they share: a nonchalant flow coupled with a strong interest for radio-friendly songs. Loon clearly belongs to that category of rappers with pop-appeal. The list of hits he took part in is as big as the legal problems he found himself involved in: from “I need a girl“, “I need a girl part II“, to “Down for me“. The relationship with Diddy’s label stopped abruptly in 2009 when Loon decided to become a devout muslim and subsequently end his musical career. But Loon’s world caved in on November the 22nd 2011 while on a trip to Brussels, he is arrested by the police for an old drug-related felony. The US government asked for his extradition but the answer from the Belgian authorities remained negative.
Even though the list is non-exhaustive (Carl Thomas, Donnie Klang, Cheri Dennis, Day 26, B5, Da band,Young Joc and so on… ), it nevertheless enables you to see how « cursed » the artists of the label are.