Hip hop originated in New York City, but was losing its grip on the hip hop game by the late 1980s. By the early 1990s, the West Coast had completely taken over the game. When New York needed new life breathed into them, it was Diddy, then known as Puff Daddy, who assmebled the team, which brought them back.
Def Jam is known as the mecca of hip hop. While there were hip hop record labels before Def Jam, they were run by older people, who did not quite understand hip hop. By the early 1990s, Def Jam did not quite understand current hip hop. In the end, Bad Boy Records revived the hip hop scene in New York.
With New York hip hop in ruins, once again, Def Jam is still not the label the people are turning to. Two of the biggest buzzing rappers from the City of New York are Red Cafe and French Montana. Two years ago, Diddy announced his re-focus on Bad Boy Records and announced he signed Red Cafe to the label, intending on making him the new flagship artist of the label.
Red Cafe is currently gearing up for his debut album and he is pounding the mixtape scene with a number of new releases. Along with the releases are coming music videos, which also showcase Red Cafe’s artists who are signed to his Shakedown label. Diddy also managed to sign the entire Shakedown roster to his Bad Boy imprint, which is distributed by Interscope Records. For years, Diddy has been focused on his other business ventures, but his re-focus on his original business is doing wonders for hip hop.
Diddy is also negotiating with one of New York’s hottest underground rappers, French Montana. Much like current Bad Boy artist, Red Cafe, French Montana is the head of his own label, Cocaine City. The roster boasts several other artists. If Diddy does end up signing French Montana, the entire Cocaine City roster will be included in the deal. Bad Boy Records has been compared to Def Jam, which distributed several sub-labels during their heyday, including Roc-A-Fella and Murder Inc.
With the new deal at Interscope Records, Diddy can establish the same sort of deal and distribute several labels in the New York area. The talent in New York remains there, but the exposure is what was lacking until recent years. Instead of waiting on the major label deals and the cameras, New York artists began creating their own labels, again, and turned on their own cameras. Now, they are catching the attention of the power-players, can Diddy be the man to put these people out?