Where Have All of Diddy's Bad Boys Gone? (To Prison, Mostly)
Sunday, April 28th, Bad Boy Records presents its Becoming King tour at the Studio at Webster Hall with recent signee King Los. With potential new members about to come out and play as well as the likes of MGK currently making an impact, what better time than now to revisit some of the Bad Boys of yesteryear and find out what they're up to today? Take that, take that.
"Flava in Ya Ear Remix," 1994
The Bad Boy era began with the "B.I.G. Mack" double shot of the Notorious B.I.G.'s classic album Ready to Die alongside Craig Mack's Project Funk the World. While the former has since become rightly heralded as one of the genre's finest hours, Mack's primarily remembered for the remix of his "Flava in Ya Ear" single, which popularized the mixtape-posse cut-style remix of having a series of established and up-and-coming artists contribute guest verses over the original hit's beat.
While Mack left the label shortly after for a few independent releases, Bad Boy did tease a Craig Mack comeback in 2001 as Mack not only began once again popping up for quick cameos in Bad Boy videos, but even landed a guest verse on the remix of G-Dep's "Special Delivery." Mack made headlines once again last year when a video surfaced of him as a member of South Carolina's Overcomer Ministry, an alleged religious cult promoting the abandoning of material goods and communal farm living, lead by controversial radio preacher Brother R.G. Stair. We're serious.
"Feels So Good," 1997
Kanye West's all-time favorite rapper, Ma$e, was Puff's right-hand man through the bulk of Bad Boy's glory years. From setting off the iconic "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" to his own landmark "Feels So Good" single, Ma$e's presence behind the mic helped define the "shiny suit era." During his original Bad Boy tenure, the one-time Murda Mase of Children of the Corn (which also gave us Cam'Ron and Big L), also assembled short-lived Harlem rap group Harlem World (featuring his brother Blinky Blink and sister Baby Stace) and a sophomore album in Double Up, released two months after he announced his retirement from rap to pursue being a pastor.
Of course, no rap retirements last forever, and Ma$e soon began reemerging in and out of the spotlight with the regularity of Carmen Sandiego. First returning on Bad Boy in 2004 with the "Kotter"-sampling "Welcome Back," Ma$e attempted to reconcile his spiritual-side with his jiggy-side on Bad Boy's more morally-aware release. There were also rumors around this time that Ma$e was being courted by Dipset, which somehow evolved into a beef with Cam'Ron and Jim Jones. But then, since nothing in life makes sense, Ma$e spent a chunk of the mid-2000s riding with G-Unit and releasing the Crucified 4 The Hood: 10 Years of Hate mixtape with DJ Whoo Kid. With the business-side of things never panning out for an official Ma$e on G-Unit album, Ma$e vanished once again. It wasn't until 2009 when Ma$e bounced back, citing Michael Jackson's death as renewing his interest in recording, as he began contributing verses to hot R&B records. After another public dispute with Diddy, Ma$e disappeared yet again until resurfacing last year on Kanye West's Cruel Summer and a Wale remix with the news that, for the first time officially in 16 years, he was off Bad Boy. So that's changed, as has his limp.