Twenty years ago this month, on September 13, 1994, Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records released its first album, The Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready To Die. Twenty years after this introductory project, Puff Daddy, who continues to drive the Bad Boy ship, spoke with GQ about his start.
“I got an opportunity one night when [mega-successful R&B producer] Teddy Riley didn’t show up to the studio,” Puff Daddy says. “He had a session at Chung King, this famous studio downtown. So I said, ‘I’m just gonna utilize this time.’ I had this idea, which was influenced by the mixtapes of Brucie B. and Kid Capri: They would blend Hip Hop beats with R&B a cappellas. I took one of Jodeci’s a cappellas and put an EPMD beat underneath it, and it was the first record I produced: ‘Come and Talk to Me,’ the remix.”
After this, Puff went on to launch Bad Boy, signing several acts, including Biggie, Ma$e and The LOX. Jadakiss, who signed as a member of the L.O.X. crew, says he was thrilled when he signed with the imprint.
“Getting on Bad Boy was like being the top pick in the draft,” he says, “Going to play with the Bulls when Mike was there. It put the battery in our back.”
Russell Simmons, who’s had his own long-running success in Hip Hop, says he’s watched Puff succeed through adversity.
“It looked like Puffy was finished a hundred times,” he says in the GQ piece. “It don’t make no difference. No matter how many times you stab him, Puff ain’t gonna lay down. He’s a survivor. He’ll reinvent himself.”
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