I was walking down Broadway in the 50s last week and came across this tableau: a boarded up Bad Boy Records. Brown paper covered the windows. The whole signage looked like it was falling apart.
Once, Bad Boy — when it was part of Arista Records — ruled the world of hip hop and rap. Then it all went away.
Back in 2006, I went to see Sean P Diddy Puffy Combs when he was making a new album, his first in many years. Combs was already very rich but had been out of the music business for a while. When the new album finally came out, it was a bust. But Sean had made a deal with Ciroc Vodka, found other endorsement situations, and made a fortune.
But the siren call of hit records never leaves you once you’ve experienced it. So Combs has made a deal for something called LOVE Records through Motown at Universal. He says there will be a new album this summer.
The press release for LOVE Records lists Diddy’s past artists as “Mary J. Blige, The Notorious B.I.G., Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Boyz II Men, Britney Spears, Kanye West.” But there’s no mention of the real Bad Boy stars like Faith Evans, Mase, or The Lox. Where did they go?
Mase, whose real name is Mason Betha, just release a new track trashing Combs in March. He’s been saying for the last couple of years that Combs has refused to sell him back his master recordings, and has made a fortume while Betha has made a pittance. So potential artists should take notice. Combs does not spread the LOVE around.
Mase wrote on social media:
“Your past business practices knowingly has continued purposely starved your artist and been extremely unfair to the very same artist that helped u obtain that Icon Award on the iconic Bad Boy label,” he wrote. “For example, u still got my publishing from 24 years ago in which u gave me $20k. Which makes me never want to work w/ u as any artist wouldn’t.”