Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Take That, Take That: Why Do Artists Still Sign With Diddy?

C Fo', back to ya do', holla at your scholar one time now let's go!

In case you haven't been paying attention to the record industry in the past 15 years and change, a guy by the name of Sean Combs at a company called Bad Boy has firmly stamped his sunglasses and slack jaw on the conscious of what we call urban music more thoroughly than arguably anyone since Russell Simmons. During that time the man known variously as Puff, Puffy, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, or Diddy has produced and masterminded tons of hits and launched many careers, all while reminding us that he can't and won't stop making hits... And a fcuking fortune.

So of course aspiring young talent flock to him in hopes of a piece of Bad Boy fame and fortune, but it never ends for them the way it does for him. Everyone knows Diddy ain't paying his artists, and whatever stardom they achieve is often overshadowed by his own. Diddy remains famous, you are left at best broke and at worst dead. Don't agree? Let's go to the highlight reel.

Everyone knows about the rise and fall of Biggie Smalls so let's not dwell there. Let's instead focus on how the curse of Puff has followed all his other artists since the golden era of Bad Boy.

Craig Mack:

Who? Exactly. No more flavor for our ears coming from this dog-faced rapper.


the next big Bad Boy to hit the scene, Ma$e blew up big and just as he began to fizzle he found Jesus and quit rapping. It probably saved his life.

Even though his stint as a preacher, followed by return to rap and signing with G-Unit are all head-scratchers, Ma$e has fared better than most.

The Lox:

Three dope MCs who got better with time. Only Styles did a bid. Famously unhappy about not getting paid by Puff, made the infamously hilarious "J. Jerkin' Niggas" sketches not so subtly aimed at Puff while still signed to him. They eventually fled to Ruff Ryders and moved on, but Diddy pretty much punked them and never really paid what he owed. Guess they never got their money, power, respect. "We keep raping you, raping you raping you..."


This infamous fiasco inolving the skinny light-skinned guy with Biggie's voice almost ended Sean Combs' career. He lost J. Lo and changed his name to P. Diddy behind the club shooting, but only Shyne really got fcuked over by getting hit with a ten year bid. He just got out like this year. Diddly-woooooah! Seen?!

G. Dep:

Remember in '01 how Lets Get It and Special Delivery had the world Harlem shaking all over the place? Yeah I forgot too. But G. Dep is a poor crackhead now and those days are the only things keeping him alive I bet.

Da Band:

the first nut ass nigga reality tv conglomerate to inspire a classic Dave Chappelle sketch had their 15 minutes of fame before collectively fading into oblivion. But the top five MCs of all time are still Dy-lan, Dy-lan, Dylan Dylan and Dylan.

Loon: Mase 2.0 didn't even blow up like his predecessor, but also faded away only to return with a religious conversion even more hilarious: fundamental Islam (although there's technically no such thing but that's another site's blog to write).

The nigga looks ridiculous!!!!

Danity Kane:

these bitches had another two seasons of strictly watered down R&B mediocrity to give us more footage of Diddy punking his artists and the world being tickled by it. Modest, modest, splash in the musical ocean that fizzled quick enough to make one of them join the newest creation...

Diddy Dirty Money: he ain't even trying to front now. He has graduated from being all in the video, all on the song, dancing, to actually having his name in the title of the group. That's gangsta.

Show: yeah no shit what's your point?
C4: shut the fuck up.

My point is that there is an artist signed to Bad Boy right now whom Diddy claimed was "the most important signing of my career." Her name is Janelle Monae, and if you don't know her, she's the shit.

Ask somebody. Her EP two years ago was raw cocaine to many fans, and her new LP The ArchAndroid is pure hot fiyah, as our friend Mr. Dillinger would say.

Now I know WJA3 usually handles reviews, but the spirit moves me right now. Her styles are so varied and refreshing, her music so dynamic and her voice so strong that I can't help but gush. While many current R&B singers are busy auto-tuning drone-like flat overtures about tipping strippers or just sounding like bad rappers, this chick's genre-bending musical adventures are so forward they're almost a throwback to a time when it was okay to refuse to conform to the formula.

The problem is too many people still have no idea who she is, so I fear the Diddy Curse is at work. Does he not promote her enough? Is she no longer marketable to teenagers who can't distinguish quality anymore because all their lives they've been told that the best they can do is sing about inventing sex, birthday sex, baby mamas and tipping strippers?

It frustrates me though. It makes me wonder: Am I just getting too old and losing touch? Is black music dying without hope? If she doesn't blow up, will future similar or (even better) dissimilar artists cease to exist or be heard? Or am I simply wondering, why of all people, with the previous track record in place, did Janelle Monae sign to Bad Boy?

Fuck it. Just buy/download her album. You might like it.




khaki la'docker said...

I dig Janelle Monae and, like you, fear that she may end up just like everyone else that was signed to Bay Boy. I wished she wouldve gotten away like Karina Pasian...

and,yes, i said "being all in the video, all on the song, dancing" in Suge Knights voice

Come to Death Row!!!!

Alovelydai said...

Damn it Khaki...u beat me to the Suge reference...

Anyway "Is she no longer marketable to teenagers who can't distinguish quality anymore because all their lives they've been told that the best they can do is sing about inventing sex, birthday sex, baby mamas and tipping strippers?"

This deserves to be expounded into a whole new post...And I expect it in my google reader by this time tomorrow. GO!

Rock said...

Good post, but stop fish hoppin that girl who looks like ri-ri's little sister. Shes's probably corny. Only artist that deserves promotion on Bad boy is Cassie and her sexy ass.


Other notable bad boys include:

Black Rob--In jail for burglary

B5--If you remember them

And Faith Evans--Who also did a short bid for Drugs

Lord help us if he signs little CJ Wallace and starts blending his pre-teen jibberish with recycled verses from his pops....uggggh.
Total--Broke and Dykin'

NC17 said...

I can't hate, ANYBODY would sign to badboy because at the end of the day you're in a million dollar studio with a great marketing machine behind you. It's not diddy's fault the artist suck.

UglyCleanBroke87 said...

I was just going to mention Black Rob lol. Low key, "Whoa" is a song that I still bop my head to every now and then. And I agree, Janelle Monae is the shit. I still don't quite understand her being signed to Bad Boy.

RenAldo said...

My uncle introduced me to her (Janelle Monae) music and showed me her getting crazy on the Tightrope video. I immediately went to the Amazon app on my phone and bought her entire album.