Consequence is synonymous with Kanye West having been one of the first artists signed to his G.O.O.D. Music imprint, and he remains one of his closest allies to this day. But years before linking up with Ye, the Queens, New York native almost signed to another Hip Hop mogul: Diddy.
In a recent interview with VladTV, Cons revealed Puff attempted to sign him to Bad Boy during the label’s heyday in the mid 1990s, when its franchise player, The Notorious B.I.G., was still alive and writing both himself and the brand into the history books.
However, the deal didn’t go through after Consequence’s cousin, Q-Tip, realized the potential that was right under his nose and “intercepted” the play, making Cons the newest member of A Tribe Called Quest.
The Don’t Quit Your Day Job! rapper made his debut on the legendary group’s 1996 album Beats, Rhymes & Life, which Consequence admitted irked Phife Dawg at the time and changed the dynamic within the group.
“I actually had a deal on the table with Puff,” he said. “I never got the paperwork because Q-Tip intercepted it and just said, ‘Yo, I’m putting you in the group. I see you got a deal — good enough for me! Let’s go!’ But I did get a verbal interest from Puff during the B.I.G. and Mack campaign.”
Speaking to HipHopDX, Consequence shed more light on his proposed deal with Bad Boy, explaining that he initially caught Diddy’s attention after Q-Tip shouted him out on Craig Mack’s “Get Down (Remix).”
“No Name, Ray Tip, what’s goin’ on love?/ You know shit is tough and we coming through bugged,” he rapped on the song.
“At the time, Q-Tip had been working with Puff because he had done the ‘Get Down’ remix for Craig Mack. He did the beat and also put a feature verse at the end in which he shouted me out,” Cons explained. “In Queens, on Linden Boulevard, I was known as Ray Tip, ‘Lil Cuz.’
“In addition to the remix and the feature, we did a couple shows. We came out at the Beacon Theatre with Craig Mack, so we were mingling with Bad Boy.”
Puff was convinced to offer Consequence a record deal after Tip played him “Living It Up,” a song from his cousin’s demo.
“At the time, Q-Tip was working on my demo and we had a record called ‘Living It Up’ which not only Puff, but — rest in peace — Chris Lighty had loved,” he continued. “When Q-Tip played ‘Living It Up’ for Puff, Puff was like, ‘Yo, lemme get playboy, I’ll sign him right now. He’s fire.’
“Which led to Q-Tip and I having a conversation, which led to Q-Tip deciding that instead of me signing to Puff, he wanted me to join A Tribe Called Quest as the new member. Which, you know, probably one of the craziest ways anybody could start their career in the ’90s. I was blessed.”
Although he never ended up joining Bad Boy, who would revolutionize the rap game in the late ’90s with their shiny suits and jiggy street hits, Consequence maintained a relationship with Diddy and the rest of the Bad Boy family. In 2010, he enlisted Puff and former Bad Boy signees The LOX for his “Whatever U Want (Remix).”
“That was the first joint they had done together in years,” Cons said. “Black Rob was a good friend of mine, rest in peace. Me and Sheek Louch actually have a new record coming out called ‘Baby Moms,’ and Jadakiss co-signed my ‘Blood Stain’ single last year, so we kept a relationship.
“It’s funny ’cause a lot of people wouldn’t think it on paper, but Tribe and Bad Boy, we were definitely cool peoples and did a lot of business together.”
Consequence was also fortunate enough to hit the studio with Biggie before he was tragically murdered in 1997, although a collaboration never materialized.
“I didn’t get a chance to work with Big, but I did get a chance to work with Faith [Evans] on ‘Stressed Out,'” he added. “I was in the studio with Big when he was supposed to be on Busta Rhymes’ album with Nas and Method Man.
“Also I had linked with him in the studio when he was doing a session with Faith. I would have loved to have done a joint with Big, but unfortunately it never transpired.”
Almost 30 years after his auspicious start in music, Consequence remains as hungry as ever. The veteran lyricist is currently gearing up to drop his new album Nice Doing Business With You, and has stoked the fires with a handful of singles already — most notably the Kanye West-produced “Blood Stain,” which recently received a makeover courtesy of Rick Ross and Amerie.