"I’m not your enemy. Don’t sit here and portray that Puff took something from y’all." – Diddy to The Lox in 2005
Add G Dep to the long list of disgruntled former Bad Boy employees. Errol Louis of the Daily News sat down with him last week a couple of days after he left Rikers Island following a 23 day stay for smashing a cell phone during an argument with a T-Mobile salesman.
Dep signed a contract to create five albums for Diddy’s Bad Boy record label for $350,000 — what seemed like a princely sum at the time. Dep’s first album, "Child of the Ghetto," came out in 2001 and did respectably.
But industry experts say it takes about two years, on average, to create and launch a new album, partly because the creative process can’t be rushed and partly because an artist’s sales slump when radio stations and fans get flooded with too many albums to choose from.
Dep’s five-album deal, in reality, was more like a 10-year employment contract — the equivalent of making $35,000 a year working for somebody else. Actually, it’s worse than that, because the money’s gone now — but any new music Dep wants to record will belong to the label.
Is Puff just doing what he’s supposed do as the head of a label, or is he taking unfair advantage of these young artists? Were all of these people really that gullible and ignorant of the ways of the music business, or is something else going on here? During the whole Lox publishing conflict, he basically said that it wasn’t his fault that they didn’t do their homework. Which is a good point. But don’t these seasoned execs, many of who pulled themselves up from the same streets where they found these rappers, have a moral responsibility to do right by them?
Maybe I’m on a spaceship.