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Although he was portrayed as a good guy in the Biggie biopic, Notorious, (being the executive producer and all) the real life Sean “Diddy” Combs has a smudged record that boasts numerous failed artists and groups.
Danity Kane, Bad Boy’s most recently dissolved group fell prey to the curse after a short two years in the industry. The alleged “bad boy curse” dates back to Diddy’s early beginnings with the ill-fated Notorious B.I.G. Some speculate as to whether it’s really a Bad Boy curse, or simply a Diddy curse.
It’s safe to say that Bad Boy is the Bermuda triangle of the music world. Artists go in and are never to be found again. Remember Carl Thomas? Tall, handsome R & B crooner? He’s now an independent artist. Seems very weird considering that he was such a great talent. Disappointed with the direction of their career on Bad Boy, the L.O.X. fought to be released from their contract in order to join the then newly formed Ruff Ryders/ Interscope label.
"When you see me, don't ask me nothin' about us and don't definitely ask me about Puffy," the L.O.X.'s Kiss spewed in a song entitled "Blood Pressure." Rapper Mase was dipped in the baptismal font (found Jesus) and is currently saving souls in Atlanta. We definitely don’t consider that a downgrade by no means, but we do find it rather funny that Bad Boy artists need spiritual guidance after dealing with Mr. Take That, Take That. I.E.
Loon converting to Islamic faith. Both Mase and Loon declined to comment on the matter. Check out these interesting details from an article published in the Village Voice by Peter Noel: Even Bad Boy insiders are fed up with the way Combs allegedly has treated prominent acts such as singer Carl Thomas and rapper Black Rob.
"I remember when Carl was signed to Bad Boy for a long time and used to hang out with me in Brooklyn," says an R&B artist who spoke on condition of anonymity. "He was broke just from waiting to have his album put out. He was on the label for at least two years and Bad Boy wouldn't put his album out. I would ask him, 'When you coming out, Carl? What's up with your stuff?' His album came out after the Club New York shooting. "Puffy had no choice," the artist continues. "He needed something to save the label. If you save the label, you're one of his guys.
He'll take you to St. Bart's for a while, and then you're never heard from again. You hear nothing about Carl Thomas these days. Almost nothing." Adds the source: "It's just disgusting to me how nobody sees that anybody with a lot of talent who goes to Bad Boy suddenly disappears. As soon as somebody doesn't agree with him, their music goes on the cutting room floor." Who could forget Jamaal "Shyne" Barrow, the gangsta rapper who was convicted of two counts of assault, two gun possession charges, and one count of reckless endangerment in the Club New York case. Barrow lashed out at Diddy, accusing him of betraying his trust to save himself. Sounds about right. Shyne will be release in October of 2009. Will he be out for blood?
Diddy’s biggest artists have ditched Bad Boy for different labels, all with the same complaint – It’s all about Diddy. Great artists become faint memories, steadily losing relevance while the CEO gets his shine on. In 2003, Faith left the label to sign with Capitol Records. 112 left Bad Boy and signed to the Def Soul roster in early 2002. Popular R&B group, Total disappeared into thin air after having a platinum album. Mark Curry, an Atlanta-based entertainer who was signed to the Bad Boy Entertainment record label from 1997 until 2005, wrote most of Diddy’s first hit singles, including “Come With Me” from the 1998 Godzilla soundtrack.
In his new book, Dancing With the Devil, Curry talks about some of Diddy’s ridiculous antics (appearances in EVERY video, being on every record). “Puff charged the artists for his appearances on their records and videos, usually without them realizing it until they discovered their paltry publishing royalty statements. That’s when they discovered that a large sum of their money had gone to fees which were doubled, tripled and even quadrupled because of Puff’s special guest appearance.
He charged artists, for example, for having his Bentley in their videos – which he insisted upon - then took a tax credit for business use of the car.”Dare we say that the curse rests not upon the record label, but is directly correlated to Puff’s poisonous acts? There’s no doubt that there is a science to his success (dude is a mogul), however his rap sheet is long and treacherous.
This idea of an ever-looming dark cloud could really just be a man with a different plan. Executives typically follow a formula that works in their artists favor. Diddy does not. In his fight to remain a relevant brand, assuming wannabe stars are vacuum-sucked into the Bad Boy machine, drained of their talents, and spit back out once they are no longer an asset to the Sean John dynasty. There is no curse, people. These careers have been destroyed by motives. You may kindly Diddy-bop your way to the unemployment line now.