Diddy and his Bad Boy Records label have remained a viable imprint in hip-hop for nearly 20 years. With over 80 million records sold worldwide, the company’s success has allowed Diddy to expand his brand and lead the way when it comes to entrepreneurship. He owns Justin’s Restaurant and the Sean Jean clothing line, promotes Ciroc Vodka and has dabbled in television production with several reality shows.
But while Diddy was busy expanding his brand, his record label suffered. After selling 24 platinum and gold records in the 1990s and the early half of the 2000s, Bad Boy has released only one platinum album (Danity Kane’s Welcome to the Dollhouse) in the last three years.
In 2009, Diddy cut ties with Atlantic Records and signed with Interscope Records to distribute Bad Boy records. He also teamed up with singers Kalenna Harper and Dawn Richards to form Diddy-Dirty Money. The trio will release their debut album, Last Train to Paris in September. Diddy has dedicated himself to this album by going on an early promotional tour and recording the lead single, “Hello Good Morning,” with T.I. and Rick Ross. Diddy has also kept himself relevant by becoming a “brand manager” for hot artists such as Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj.
But the future of Bad Boy Records depends on the success of Last Train to Paris. Without any big-name artists, other than Diddy, Bad Boy Records could go under. Will Diddy-Dirty Money save Bad Boy Records, or has Diddy become too big to properly run his own label? –amir shaw