(March 7, 2024).

In the ‘90s, we bobbed our heads to Daddy beats, when Puff was his name and rap was his game.

We didn’t mind the beats weren’t new and his lines a bit lame — originality be damned — we loved them just the same.

Besides who could go wrong with Christopher Wallace, a big Brooklyn king whose stories were flawless. 

“Big Poppa,” “Get Money,” and “One More Chance”… and Sean all up in the videos with that “Puffy” dance.

Puffy (center) with Faith Evans and Biggie in “One More Chance (Remix)” (1995)

But something was amiss in Bad Boy Land, rap’s civil war brewing amidst rumors of scams.

Artists weren’t paid, or so they’d say, while shootings shrouded in mystery ruled the day.

First Tupac lay bleeding in a studio lobby, with Biggie’s “Who Shot Ya” keeping heads bobbing.

Then Suge’s Knight’s friend Jake was shot and lay dead, leaving Death Row calling for Puffy Combs’ head.

Both incidents, without evidence, would give Bad Boy the blame, and we watched as the founder tried to clear his name:

Diddy didn’t do dat, did he?

The hits still came – first Craig Mack and Biggie, then 112 and Faith.  The roster was complete with Total and Mase.  

One after another they’d scale the charts; with hip-hop’s sample king continuing to win over hearts.

Yet they continued to wage this East vs West fight, with Puffy pitted against Death Row’s Suge Knight

Their foot soldiers ‘Pac & Biggie spewed words of war, as Vibe stoked the fire and fans wanted more.

Death Row’s (from bottom clockwise) Suge Knight, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Tupac Shakur (1996), and Bad Boy’s The Notorious B.I.G. and Sean “Puffy” Combs (1996)

Then a six-month window separated two major events, and drive-bys left vehicles riddled with dents.

First ‘Pac then Biggie, neither rapper survived, with both men not living past twenty-five.

Once again, the fingers were pointed straight at the top, with a serious blow being dealt to ‘90s hip-hop.

Both Suge and Puff — their involvement they denied — but none of those rumors would ever subside…

Diddy didn’t do dat, did he?

Still, Bad Boy couldn’t be topped in ‘97, with ‘Pac and Big now skirting rap heaven

Two No. 1 singles in death gave Biggie the crown, and Puff claimed “Can’t  Nobody Hold Me Down.”

So Clive said “Here Bad Boy, take this advance,” and Puff had 50 million more reasons to dance.

But sales slowed down and artists departed, claiming Sean Combs wasn’t paying after the bangers they’d charted.

Mase, The Lox and others spoke out, while their former boss accused them of chasing Diddy clout.

Still, Bad Boy forged on with hits that were fewer, as Shyne and Black Rob made the roster look newer.

And Diddy got paid while expanding his brand, with Sean John, Cîroc Vodka and Making the Band.

Plus, the radio still bumped an occasional tune, like “I Need a Girl” featuring Usher and Loon.

A “girl” named Cassie soon entered Puff’s life, with enough years to make them seem husband and wife.

And life was good, seemingly full of bliss, as P. Diddy steadily climbed the Forbes list…

Diddy did dat, didn’t he?

With Bad Boy dissolved after having sold millions, Diddy was well on his way to a billion.

And soon he’d connect with Black causes and charities, media covering the good things he did with rarity.

Like the millions he gave to his former college, so some future student could expand his or her knowledge.

Yet despite his donations to Howard University, Diddy couldn’t seem to shake the adversity.

There were numerous charges of battery and assault, with Diddy steady claiming “it wasn’t my fault.”

Every allegation prompted yet another denial, with big settlements to avoid an unwanted trial.

But Diddy charged on without needing a jolt, and soon with a partner he founded Revolt.

Now the multi-hyphenate was on a brand new mission, having entered the world of cable television.

Sean “Diddy” Combs launched Revolt TV in 2013

But Diddy would soon gain more unwanted exposure, as women limited by old statutes could now gain closure.

First Cassie, then others levied charges of rape, assault and other crimes from which they couldn’t escape…

Allegedly, of course.

Meanwhile corporate liabilities became too expensive, and companies cut ties with Diddy on the defensive.

And what became of his “Me & U” honey? Just one day after filing, Cassie got paid big money.

Diddy didn’t do dat, did he?

Then, as if hip-hop needed even more bad press, the man accused of ‘Pac’s murder was placed under arrest.

And rumors again swirled that Diddy was involved, in a crime that in three decades still hasn’t been solved.

By this time, as if given a sign from above, Diddy again changed his name… to Brother Love.

And with the new Love Album, subtitled “Off The Grid,” Brother had us wond’ring what Diddy done did.

Brother Love’s The Love Album: Off the Grid was issued in 2023

With its release, Brother Love claimed “R&B is back,” but would soon be accused of yet another attack.

This time the album’s producer Lil Rod sued, with a 70-page filing that had the media glued.

While Rod described acts forced against his own will, footnotes seemed to implicate Usher and Meek Mill…

As being subjects of previous liaisons with Diddy, whose world all of a sudden wasn’t looking so pretty.

While none of us knows if any of this was reality, Mill — for one — went on the defense about his sexuality.

And Diddy, through lawyers, denied once again… all claims of sexual misconduct made by women AND men.

The claims became fodder for 50 Cent who chided… his nemesis in a beef that was mostly one-sided.

But the charges against Diddy or Brother Love were serious, not to be discarded as jokes by trolls or the curious.

Because now with the number of lawsuits beckoning, we will see if Sean “Puffy” Combs/ Puff Daddy/ Puffy/ P. Diddy/ Diddy/ Brother Love gets his reckoning.

Still, the latest charge may be one from which Diddy can’t recover, with a name like “Lil Rod” being pursued as a lover.

Because we all know in hip-hop there’s no greater sin… than a male rapper who’s allegedly cuffed it with men.

Allegedly, of course.

But Diddy didn’t do dat…

Or did he?


DJRob (he/him) is a freelance music blogger from the East Coast who covers R&B, hip-hop, disco, pop, rock and country genres – plus lots of music news and current stuff!  You can follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @djrobblog and on Meta’s Threads.

DJRob (@djrobblog) on Threads

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By DJ Rob

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