Don’t look now, but P. Diddy, or whatever he’s calling himself these days, has somehow managed to get two songs into the top five (yep, the top five) of Billboard’s Hot 100. Yung Joc’s “It’s Going Down” dropped one spot from #4 to #5, while Cassie’s “Me & U” jumped two places to take the #4 spot. Who the fuck are these people, and does this mean Bad Boy is back?
Probably due to the law of averages, if not payola, P. Diddy’s Bad Boy label has had the occasional success since the Notorious B.I.G. was “assasinated” in 1997, and P. Diddy subsequently hopped the first flight out of LA, before the body could even turn cold.
Shyne had a spark before he thought it was a good idea to shoot up the club. Biggie Smalls’ corpse was drug out on two separate occasions and still managed to sell a million copies or so. There was the Bad Boys II soundtrack, even if it primarily consisted of Nelly songs. But mostly, the post-Biggie years at Bad Boy could be characterized as one failed attempt after another to create another Biggie-like success.
As I recall, there was a period earlier in this decade, after Shyne had been locked up, G. Dep had failed miserably, and while Black Rob was probably hopped up on PCP and breaking into someone’s car, when P. Diddy had attempted to sign a buncha pop singers to Bad Boy. There was the group of five pretty ugly white chicks (which would seem less than likely), Dream, and a white rapper, and who knows what else. Still, dead in the middle of the halcyon era of TRL pop singers, Diddy couldn’t do his numbers.
It was widely reported (on my own site), that P. Diddy’s signing a $30 million dollar label deal with Atlantic Records was essentially him selling what was left of Biggie’s corpse; hence, one of his first releases under the new deal being the Biggie Duets album; and hence, Biggie’s mother going on the radio with the Lox trying to pretend as if Diddy gave her a piece of Biggie’s publishing, but not having any actual paper work to back up this claim.
[As revealed in the Chronicles of Junior Mafia DVD, Biggie sold his publishing to Diddy in 1996 for a ridonkulously low (even at the time) $200,000.]
For a while there, it looked like this might be about the best Diddy would be able to do, but now he’s running the Billboard Hot 100 as if he was the Beatles, er, 50 Cent. What gives? As it turns out, both of these artists are signed to vanity subsidiaries of Bad Boy, with Yung Joc and Cassie being signed to some shit called Block and NextSelection, respectively. Despite the fact that P. Diddy’s name is prominently featured in both artists’ videos, who knows what his level of involvement was.
Cassie’s success is being put forth as some incredible coup of Internets marking, primarily, as far as I can tell, because she has a blog, but obviously that’s all a buncha bullshit. Having seen the video earlier today, I think it’s obvious why her single is taking off: That bitch is smokin! I don’t normally dig on broads of indeterminate ethnic origin, but to paraphrase the late Senator Strom Thurmond, my penis knows no color, and it is the bane of my existence.
As far as Yung Joc’s success, I think it’s been proven time and time again that people from the South will buy anything (UGK solo albums notwithstanding), so long as it’s from the South. This would only be yet another example of that phenomenon.
Speaking of which, I had been waiting for a while now for the Marshall Tucker Band to get a profile on MySpace. Finally, it’s here. “Heard It in a Love Song” = arguably the South’s finest moment. What you know about that!