Where Have All of Diddy's Bad Boys Gone? (To Prison, Mostly)
At a concert in New York this past weekend, Bad Boy Records presented its recent signee King Los. Other members of the crew, including MGK, are currently getting some shine as well. But what about the Bad Boys of yesteryear? What are they up to these days? Glad you asked! Here's a rundown.
The Bad Boy era began with the Notorious B.I.G.'s classic album Ready to Die and Craig Mack's Project Funk the World. While the former has 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, with both established and up-and-coming artists contributing guest verses over the original hit's beat.
Mack left the label shortly afterward for a few independent releases. Bad Boy teased a Mack comeback in 2001, and he began once again popping up for quick cameos in Bad Boy videos, even landing 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 communal farm living and the abandonment of material goods and, lead by controversial radio preacher Brother R.G. Stair. Yes, for real.
Kanye West's all-time favorite rapper, Ma$e, was Puff's right-hand man through the bulk of Bad Boy's glory years. From the iconic "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" to his own landmark "Feels So Good" single, Ma$e helped define the "shiny suit era." At one point known as Murda Mase and a member of Children of the Corn crew (which also gave us Cam'Ron and Big L), during his Bad Boy tenure Ma$e also assembled short-lived Harlem rap group Harlem World, featuring his brother Blinky Blink and sister Baby Stace. His sophomore album, Double Up, was released two months after he announced his retirement from rap to pursue being a pastor.
Of course, no rap retirements last forever, and Ma$e has been in and out of the spotlight. First returning on Bad Boy in 2004 with the Kotter-sampling "Welcome Back," Ma$e attempted to reconcile his spiritual-side with his jiggy-side. There were also rumors around this time that Ma$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$e spent a chunk of the mid-2000s riding with G-Unit and releasing the Crucified 4 The Hood: 10 Years of Hate mixtape with DJ Whoo Kid.
But things didn't pan out for an official Ma$e G-Unit album, and so he vanished once again. In 2009 he bounced back, citing Michael Jackson's death as renewing his interest in recording, and 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. For the first time in 16 years, he was officially off Bad Boy. So that's changed, as has his limp.