Puff Daddy who some (50 Cent) might say has coasted on the coattails of greatness for most of his career, has been uncharacteristically prominent in the news recently. We thought we would take the time to reflect on the mundane exploits of the once great and controversial figure.
Diddy, P Diddy, Puff Daddy, and anything else he calls himself, typically conjure an image of the Bad Boy Records founder as the same sunglass-wearing, cropped hair-adorning, kind of looking down but up at the camera at the same time, figure of money, glamour and perhaps a little danger. Since founding his label in 1993, which has gone on to sign more than 45 artists, it’s difficult to suggest that Puff Daddy is a mere shadow of what he once was. The decline of Puffy and his label can mostly be attributed to the loss of a hip-hop legend, The Notorious B.I.G, who was not only Puffy’s greatest asset at Bad Boy Records, but also a close friend. Since Biggie’s tragic shooting, Puffy has had difficulty in managing to keep his empire relevant, which by no means suggests that it hasn’t been profitable.
Rick Ross, Mase, French Montana, Lil Kim and Faith Evans, among others have all been attached to the label and their varying degrees of success have all insured that Puffy and his family will not be going hungry. It’s more so that the infamous beefs of East Coast versus West Coast of the nineties, which pitted the two juggernauts of Death Row Records and Bad Boy Records against each other, were pretty much the pinnacle of Puffy’s relevance. Sadly, it’s become apparent that regardless of how many times he changes his name or which vodka label entrusts him with their success, he will likely be unable to attain the sort of revered attention which he and his record label managed to garner almost 20 years ago.
Although Puff Daddy no longer commands the same level of street credibility which once made him a (gasp!) feared figure, he is still entirely capable of putting asses in seats for shows.
The Bad Boy reunion show is set to feature artists such as Faith Evans, Mase, The L.O.X, Lil Kim, Total, 112, Mario Winans, and French Montana, dubbed as a “one night only” show, managed to completely sell out within seven minutes. The show will be held at Brooklyn’s Jay-Z owned Barclays Centre on May 20, also the 44th birthday of The Notorious B.I.G..
In a press release regarding the reunion concert Puffy stated, “this isn’t just another concert – this is hip-hop history,” elaborating, “The Bad Boy Family includes some of the biggest names in music and songs that helped define a whole generation of music. Also, we are celebrating one of the greatest of all time – Notorious B.I.G. This will be a night to remember. I can’t wait to see you all there.”
Straight off the bat, I’m calling the Biggie hologram appearing at this concert. Faith Evans has already thrown a few comments out into the mediasphere about a Biggie hologram potentially in the works, and frankly a never-before-seen reunion tour from the label which he helped catapult to success, while also coinciding with his birthday, is the perfect time for Biggie’s hologram to lay down something Juicy.
The point is that Puffy, although not a powerhouse in terms of musical relevancy, has absolutely no problem with using fan nostalgia to generate this much hype for what he claims will be “a night to remember.” Puffy also seems to have no issues with nurturing the talents within his own family, signing his son, Christian Combs, into the Bad Boy family. In an Instagram post, Puffy revealed that for his son’s birthday he had gifted him a record deal with the label, and urged fans to congratulate Christian Combs on becoming an official member of the labels talented roster of artists.
NEW DEAL ALERT!!! Everyone wish my son @KingCombs a happy birthday & CONGRATS on signing that record deal!! #BADBOY #EPIC @la_reid SNAPCHAT: PUFFDADDY A video posted by Puff Daddy (@iamdiddy) on Apr 1, 2016 at 3:16pm PDT
If Puffy’s son is indeed a talented artist, it would be silly for his father, the founder of a major record label, to sign with someone else. Again, while Puffy himself is no longer the illustrious hip-hop figure he once was, he doesn’t seem to be having any problems insuring that his business remains fully functional and profitable.
Of course, none of this can be achieved without spawning critics. Suge Knight, who has clearly lost his once epic bout with Puffy by becoming embroiled in something akin to a noir detective story, has waged a war of words and alleged violence against his East Coast counterpart since the 1990s, and arguably leading to the death of both Tupac and Biggie. Now the criticism and subsequent fallout he receives from his rivals is laughable by comparison, but they still gotta hurt. Most recently, 50 Cent has fired shots in a Sirius XM radio interview.
50 Cent was asked about his sponsor, Effen Vodka, which prompted the slowly declining rapper to once again hang shit on Puffy’s Ciroc Vodka and question the Bad Boy founder’s artistic credibility.
“[Diddy] is a guy who stands next to the guy. I am the guy. He’s next to Biggie, he’s next to Ma$e, he’s next to Craig Mack, he’s next to The Lox, Lil’ Kim. When have you ever seen him by himself and it’s exciting? Even when it’s tribute music, there’s three or four other people because he’s not an artist. He’s a party promoter, a businessperson, a producer. A lot of different things but not an artist.”
Although that may well be true, Puffy has never had to file for bankruptcy and get called out for flashing around fake cash. No doubt, this latest insult will be like water off a ducks back, with Puffy continuing to conduct business as usual, and maintaining the carefully crafted music empire which he has managed to notch out for himself, one, which although not the brightly burning torch it once was, is most definitely still shining through.