From Black Voices — When Jay Electronica signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation instead of Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy records, the “Shiny Suit Man” expressed his disappointment on Twitter, while Electronica’s fans breathed a collective sigh of relief. Why, you ask? Well, because Diddy doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to being the custodian of artists’ careers. Need proof? We have 20 examples for you.

1. Craig Mack

Years Signed: 1994-1995, 2005

Fail Rating: 4 out of 5 Diddys

Why: Before Craig Mack was completely obscure, he had been reduced to a punchline. After the release of his gold debut album, ‘Project: Funk Da World,’ the only time you’d hear his name was when rappers were comparing something’s ugliness to his face. Harsh. The beginning of the end of Mack’s rap career came with the ‘Flava in Ya Ear’ remix, on which Mack was outshined by every one featured on the song (except for Rampage Da Last Boyscout).

Prior to the remix’s release, Mack had a hit single with the original and was destined for stardom. But after the remix dropped, everyone forgot about Mack, thanks to a fellow named Biggie Smalls and a dancing Puff Daddy Diddy. Where’s Craig Mack these days? We don’t know, and sadly we doubt you care.

2. Total

Years Signed: 19952000

Fail Rating: 4 out of 5 Diddys

People often question the singing ability of artists like Rihanna and Cassie, but there’s been a long history of R&B divas with suspect talent. Back in ’95, Sean Combs introduced the trio Total and the next phase of the hip-hop/R&B movement he helped usher in with Mary J. Blige. There was Kima, the skinny, screechy one; Keisha, the sexy one with the short cut who could kinda sing; and then Pam, the tall one everyone thought was a lesbian.

Their debut single, ‘Can’t You See,’ featuring Notorious B.I.G. was a huge urban radio hit, and the Jersey girls released a platinum self-titled debut album and were subsequently christened “The Bad Girls of R&B.” Their follow-up album ‘Kima, Keisha and Pam,’ went gold, but then they dropped an underwhelming single, ‘Sittin’

3. Mase

Years Signed: 1996-1999, 2004

Fail Rating: 1 out of 5 Diddys

Why: It wasn’t all bad for Mase. He was introduced on a remix (112’s ‘Only You’) and soon after became a star. Noted for his slow delivery and elementary rhyme style, Mase was a remix whore who appeared everywhere he could before really breaking out on Diddy’s album No Way Out’ (ironic title) with ‘Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down.’ He then dropped the four-times platinum ‘Harlem World’ album, assembled a group with the same name (and released a corny-ass single produced by Just Blaze). He appeared to be destined for fame. But that sophomore jinx ain’t nuthin to f-ck with (word to Wu-Tang), as ‘Double Up’ bricked like a blindfolded Shaq free throw. Mase then blamed God and retired. After slow flowing in pulpits and attending Clark Atlanta, MaseGod decided that he should go back to music, and he released ‘Welcome Back’ in 2004. All things considered, Mase didn’t fare badly with Diddy at all. We just don’t know what those checks looked like.

4. 112

Years Signed:

Fail Rating: 3 out of 5 Diddys

Why: Selling 16 million records can’t be considered a fail, can it? The quartet could actually sing and had great success being Bad Boy’s standout male R&B group. After their first three albums showcased their great vocals, Diddy apparently got bored and paid them no attention, which led to the group signing with Def Jam. But don’t think they got away scot-free. What was initially an amicable split got ugly when a dispute over who owned 112’s music surfaced. The dispute held up the release of their fourth album, and apparently everyone lost interest.

5. The Lox

Years Signed: 1996-1999

Fail Rating: 5 out of 5 Diddys

Why: Who remembers the gritty and grimy Lox rocking shiny suits and sampling Rod Stewart’s ‘If You Really Want Me?’ It was like painting a pitbull pink and putting him in a tutu. Diddy signed Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheik Louch to the label in 1996 and turned the hard-nosed Yonkers crew into a bunch of jiggy rappers. The Lox didn’t like that — as well as seeing no money from their platinum album ‘Money, Power & Respect’ — andthreatened to throw a refrigerator on Diddy if they didn’t get off of the label. A “Let the Lox Go” campaignbegan, and finally Diddy let the vise grips go, and the trio returned to their street roots and joined Ruff Ryders. It was damn near the ugliest label split ever gone public. 

6. Black Rob

Years Signed:

Fail Rating:
4 out of 5 Diddys

Why: Remember ‘Whoa?’ It was a big street single and massive big club record. But Black Rob’s 2000 album,‘Life Story,’ got relatively no push, which sucks because the album was really, really good. No follow-up single, no nothing. Apparently, Diddy was more focused on his own personal ventures and left Rob broke. Which probably led to his sentencing on a grand larceny charge in 2006. If he was getting paid, he wouldn’t have to steal jewelry from a hotel room, now would he?

(Continue Reading 7-20 @ Black Voices…)

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