Take That, Take That, Take That: The 10 Greatest Contributions Bad Boy Records Gave Rap

By 01.30.14

Puffy reportedly shutting the studio down has apparently been greatly exaggerated.

Regardless of present-day interest or feelings about Puff’s multi-hundred million dollar investment, the contributions Diddy and Bad Boy have provided the game throughout their run is nearly immeasurable. These aren’t the only 10, but we here at TSS like to believe they’re a strong 10 entries.

For example…

Photo: Getty

1. Rap & R&B Collaborations + Bad Boy’s Insane R&B Run

My girlfriend and I had a conversation a few months back about Rap&B songs. Not surprising in the least bit, Bad Boy Records was well represented. Credit Puff for understanding R&B sold records. And credit Puff for understanding rap was a cash cow in the making (at least in the ’90s) then blending the two together creating for not only classics…but timeless classics.

Check this run. Between the years 1994-2002, Bad Boy dropped both Biggie albums, debuts from Mase, Shyne, G-Dep, Black Rob, the LOX and Craig Mack, the Junior Mafia album and Puff’s solo album, all of which went at least gold. Impressive enough as is, rap wasn’t the only genre Bad Boy held a vice grip in:

— Faith Evans – Faith (platinum)
— Total – Total (platinum)
— 112 – 112 (platinum)
— Faith Evans – Keep The Faith (platinum)
— Carl Thomas – Emotional (platinum)
— Dream – It Was All A Dream (platinum)
— 112 – Part III (platinum)
— Faith Evans – Faithfully (platinum)

Puff is a lot of things. A dummy damn sure isn’t one of them.

Clive Davis And The Recording Academy's 2012 Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute To Industry Icons Honoring Richard Branson - Roaming Inside

2. Cassie

Whether she’s Puffy’s soon-to-be-wife, life partner or whatever, Cassie never did much from a musical standpoint to separate herself from the 3,400 other R&B singers. She was great to look at it, however.

And quite frankly, that’s all she really seemed to care about anyway.

Photo: Getty

My personal pick for GOAT rap video

3. The Remix

Puff and co. didn’t “invent” the remix, but they damn sure helped revolutionize it. From “One More Chance,” “Flava In Ya Ear,” “I Need A Girl Pt. 2” and several others in between, Bad Boy taught an old dog new tricks on more than one occasion.

4. The LOX Threatening To Kill Puffy On Hot 97 Over Their Publishing

There. Were. So. Many. Quotables.

Puff was such, in Jadakiss’ words, a “gangsta with the paperwork.” When The LOX’s frustrations with their former boss bled over onto New York City’s airwaves, the elephant in the room of Puff’s questionable business tactics stood front and center. Per Bol, these were trio’s biggest gripes with Diddy:

— They’re on their 7th lawyer trying to get their publishing back
— They paid “$3 million or close to it” to get off of Bad Boy in the first place
— The amount Diddy’s jacked them for since then is estimated at “a couple million”
— Every time Jada puts out an album, Diddy gets a $300,000 advance, which Jada then has to recoup

Tensions got heavy and personal. But by the time Jadakiss threatened to push a stainless steel double-door refrigerator on Puff from off the top of a building, one of Bad Boy’s greatest moments was involuntarily etched in stone.

5. Making The Band

Mention walking to Brooklyn for cheesecake and pending that person has an ounce of pop culture knowledge, they’ll instantly respond with another Making The Band memory. Adding to its resume, the show birthed Da Band, Danity Kane (two of the members later became part of Dirty Money) and Day 26, all marginally successful in their own right.

And when Dave Chappelle immortalized the show with one parody, history was made.


6. Mase’s Harlem World

Following B.I.G.’s death, the immediate question loomed as to how Bad Boy would survive without its most polarizing, successful and talented artist.

Mase never filled the gap left by Frank White, but Harlem World carried the torch admirably. Four million copies and three monster singles later, Betha became a bonafide superstar in his own right.

Then, he found religion.

7. Brand Equity

However one chooses to remember The House That Puff Built is their prerogative. But for all the negative connotations the label amassed over time, artists continued to flock to its services.

In some cases, the association with the brand name Bad Boy was more important than anything else. It’s hard to knock Puff in that regard.

Photo: Getty

8. The 1995 Source Awards

The fact stands August 3, 1995, was a moment that altered the course of Hip-Hop forever. Suge and Death Row charging into New York at the peak of what was dubbed an “East Coast/West Coast” rivalry was in many ways dangerous and irresponsible. Instead of hiding in the corner, shots were thrown, lines in the sand were drawn and Suge’s “producers all in the video” comment has since gone on to live in infamy.

While Bad Boy wasn’t the party instigating an already volatile situation, Puff, Biggie and the label played an irreplaceable role during an event Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script for.


9. Shiny Suits

The shiny suits were cool, especially in the “Mo Money, Mo Problems” video. That being said, know why we should truly appreciate them?

DMX’s It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot – released during the Shiny Suit Era’s heyday – was one of the greatest middle fingers in rap history.

10. The Notorious B.I.G.

“The most shady, Frankie baby.”

Bad Boy gave us Biggie Smalls. But Biggie Smalls, rap’s poet laureate, was the driving commodity who placed Bad Boy atop the pillar of rap royalty it eventually secured. And lived off of long after his physical ascended into heaven.

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