Dancing with the Devil: The Story of Mark Curry and His Experience with Bad Boy Records
Dancing with the Devil: How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hip-Hop
If you are a fan of hip-hop music, you have probably heard of Bad Boy Records, one of the most successful and influential labels in the history of rap. Founded by Sean "Puffy" Combs in 1993, Bad Boy launched the careers of many legendary artists, such as The Notorious B.I.G., Mase, Faith Evans, 112, Lil' Kim, and more. But behind the scenes, there was a dark side to Bad Boy that many people didn't know about. In his book Dancing with the Devil: How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hip-Hop, Mark Curry, a former Bad Boy artist, exposes the truth about how Puffy exploited, manipulated, and betrayed his artists, leaving them in poverty, prison, or worse.
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This book is not only a memoir of Curry's experience with Bad Boy, but also a critique of the music industry and its practices that harm artists. Curry reveals startling details about key events in the fast-paced, controversial, and sometimes deadly world of hip-hop, such as the rivalry with Death Row Records, the deaths of Biggie and Tupac, the legal troubles and scandals that plagued Puffy and his label, and more. He also shares his insights on how artists can protect themselves from being ripped off by shady contracts, managers, lawyers, and producers. In this article, we will review some of the main points and arguments of Curry's book, as well as give our opinion and recommendation.
The Rise of Bad Boy Records
Bad Boy Records was founded by Sean "Puffy" Combs in 1993, after he was fired from Uptown Records for being too ambitious and aggressive. Puffy had a vision to create a label that would dominate the rap scene with a new style of music that blended hip-hop with R&B, soul, pop, and rock. He also had a knack for finding talent and developing stars. He recruited some of the best artists in the game, such as The Notorious B.I.G., Craig Mack, Mase, Faith Evans, 112, Total, Lil' Kim, The Lox, Black Rob, G-Dep, Carl Thomas, Mario Winans, Loon, Mark Curry, New Edition, Dream, Danity Kane, Day26, Donnie Klang, Cassie Ventura , French Montana , Machine Gun Kelly , Red Cafe , King Los , Janelle Monáe , Gorilla Zoe , Yung Joc , Elephant Man , Boyz n da Hood , 8Ball & MJG , and more.
Bad Boy Records quickly became one of the most successful and influential labels in the history of rap. It sold over 100 million records worldwide, won numerous awards, and created a cultural phenomenon with its catchy songs, flashy videos, and glamorous lifestyle. Bad Boy also had a huge impact on the fashion, slang, and attitude of the hip-hop generation. Puffy was hailed as a genius and a mogul, who turned his label into a multi-million dollar empire that included clothing, publishing, film, TV, restaurants, and more.
However, Bad Boy also faced some challenges and controversies along the way. One of the most notorious was the rivalry with Death Row Records, another rap label based in Los Angeles that was led by Suge Knight and featured artists like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur. The rivalry started as a personal feud between Puffy and Suge, who had different visions and approaches to the rap game. Puffy was more business-oriented and mainstream, while Suge was more street-oriented and underground. The rivalry escalated into a violent war that involved shootings, beatings, threats, and diss tracks. The war reached its climax when both Biggie and Tupac were killed in separate drive-by shootings in 1996 and 1997, respectively. The deaths of these two rap icons shook the hip-hop world and left many fans heartbroken and angry.
The Fall of Bad Boy Records
After the deaths of Biggie and Tupac, Bad Boy Records went through a period of decline and turmoil. Many of its artists left the label or faded away from the spotlight. Some of them accused Puffy of cheating them out of their money, fame, and creative freedom. In his book, Curry exposes how Puffy exploited and manipulated his artists with shady contracts, false promises, and ruthless tactics. He claims that Puffy made millions of dollars from his artists' work, but paid them little or nothing in return. He also says that Puffy controlled every aspect of his artists' careers, from their music to their image to their personal lives. He would often interfere with their artistic decisions, force them to change their style or lyrics, or take credit for their ideas. He would also pit them against each other, create rivalries and conflicts within the label, or sabotage their opportunities with other labels or collaborators.
Curry also reveals how Puffy and his label were involved in many legal troubles and scandals that tarnished their reputation and credibility. Some of these include: the 1999 shooting at a New York nightclub that resulted in Puffy's arrest and trial for weapons possession; the 2001 lawsuit by Kirk Burrowes, a former Bad Boy executive who accused Puffy of threatening him with a baseball bat; the 2004 lawsuit by Ron Isley of The Isley Brothers who accused Puffy of stealing his music; the 2005 lawsuit by Anthony \"Wolf\" Jones' family who accused Puffy of being responsible for his death; the 2006 lawsuit by Mark Curry who accused Puffy of breaching his contract; the 2007 lawsuit by Farnsworth Bentley who accused Puffy of stealing his trademark umbrella; the 2008 lawsuit by Danity Kane who accused Puffy of breaking up their group; the 2010 lawsuit by Mase who accused Puffy of blocking his release from Bad Boy; the 2011 lawsuit by The Lox who accused Puffy of withholding their publishing rights; the 2012 lawsuit by Richard \"Young City\" Wilson who accused Puffy of keeping him in jail for three years; the 2015 lawsuit by Mark Curry who accused Puffy of using his lyrics without permission; and more.
Mark Curry's Experience with Bad Boy Records
Mark Curry is an Atlanta-based rapper who was signed to Bad Boy Records from 1997 to 2005. He was one of Puffy's protégés and collaborators, who wrote many of the hits that made Puffy one of the richest men alive. He also recorded with some of the biggest stars in the music business, such as Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Usher, R. Kelly, Ludacris, Nelly, Busta Rhymes , Fabolous , Faith Evans , Lil' Kim , Mase , Black Rob , G-Dep , Loon , Carl Thomas , Mario Winans , New Edition , Dream , Danity Kane , Day26 , Donnie Klang , Cassie Ventura , French Montana , Machine Gun Kelly , Red Cafe , King Los , Janelle Monáe , Gorilla Zoe , Yung Joc , Elephant Man , Boyz n da Hood , 8Ball & MJG , and more.
However, Curry's experience with Bad Boy was not as glamorous as it seemed. In his book, he tells his story of how he joined Bad Boy in 1997, after impressing Puffy with his rap skills and charisma. He was promised a solo album deal, a publishing deal, and a chance to work with some of the biggest names in the industry. He was also given a lavish lifestyle, with expensive cars, clothes, jewelry, and parties. He was loyal to Puffy and followed his orders, even when they put him in danger or trouble. He wrote many of the songs that made Puffy famous, such as "Bad Boy for Life", "I Need a Girl", "Shake Ya Tailfeather", and more. He also recorded several songs of his own, but they were never released or promoted by the label.
Curry soon realized that he was trapped in a contract that gave him no rights or royalties for his work. He also discovered that Puffy was not interested in his career or well-being, but only in using him as a ghostwriter and a hype man. He felt betrayed and frustrated by Puffy's lack of respect and appreciation for his talent and contribution. He also witnessed how Puffy treated other artists with the same disregard and dishonesty. He saw how Puffy would lie to them, ignore them, drop them, or sue them if they tried to leave or speak out against him. He saw how many of his friends and colleagues suffered from depression, addiction, violence, or death because of their involvement with Bad Boy.
Curry decided to leave Bad Boy in 2005, after years of being unhappy and unfulfilled. He sued Puffy for breaching his contract and withholding his publishing rights. He also wrote his book to expose Puffy's true character and behavior, and to warn other artists about the dangers of signing with Bad Boy. He hoped that his book would inspire some changes and reforms in the music industry, and that it would help other artists to protect themselves from being exploited and abused.
The Impact and Legacy of Bad Boy Records
Despite its downfall and controversy, Bad Boy Records still has a significant impact and legacy in the music industry and culture. It introduced a new sound and style of rap music that influenced many generations of artists and fans. It also showcased some of the most talented and iconic artists in hip-hop history, who left behind a rich catalog of songs and albums that are still celebrated today. It also created a brand and a movement that transcended music and reached other fields of entertainment, business, fashion, and philanthropy.
Puffy is still one of the most powerful and influential figures in the music business, who has expanded his empire to include other ventures such as Revolt TV, Sean John clothing line, Ciroc vodka, Aquahydrate water , DeLeón tequila , Combs Wine & Spirits , Combs Enterprises , The Blue Flame Agency , Daddy's House Recording Studio , Justin's Restaurant , Bad Boy Entertainment Worldwide , Bad Boy Films , Bad Boy Records , Sean John Fragrances , Sean John Eyewear , Sean John Footwear , Sean John Watches , Sean John Underwear , Sean John Bedding , Sean John Loungewear , Sean John Boys , Sean John Girls , Sean John Juniors , Sean John Big & Tall , Sean John Tailored Suits , Sean John Sportswear , Sean John Accessories , Sean John Home Collection , Sean John Furniture Collection , Sean John Kids Collection , Sean by Sean Combs Women's Collection , Combs Foundation , Daddy's House Social Programs Foundation , Citizen Change (Vote or Die) campaign , Revolt Films , Revolt Media & TV . He has also won several awards and honors for his achievements and contributions to music and society.
Some of the former Bad Boy artists have also continued their careers and projects in music or other fields. Some of them include: Faith Evans who is still a successful singer-songwriter who has released several albums and won a Grammy Award; Mase who is now a pastor who occasionally returns to rap; Lil' Kim who is still a rap legend who has released several albums and won several awards; The Lox who are still a rap group who have released several albums and founded their own label D-Block Records; Black Rob who is still a rapper who has released several albums; G-Dep who is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for murder; Carl Thomas who is still a singer who has released several albums; Mario Winans who is still a singer-producer who has released several albums; Loon who converted to Islam and changed his name to Amir Junaid Muhadith, and was recently released from prison after serving a 9-year sentence for drug trafficking; New Edition who are still a R&B group who have released several albums and had a biopic on BET; Dream who reunited in 2015 and released a new single; Danity Kane who reunited in 2013 and released a new album; Day26 who reunited in 2014 and released a new album; Donnie Klang who is still a singer who has released several singles; Cassie Ventura who is still a singer-model-actress who has released several singles and appeared in several films; French Montana who is still a rapper who has released several albums and founded his own label Coke Boys Records; Machine Gun Kelly who is still a rapper-actor who has released several albums and appeared in several films; Red Cafe who is still a rapper who has released several mixtapes; King Los who is still a rapper who has released several mixtapes and albums; Janelle Monáe who is still a singer-actress-producer who has released several albums and appeared in several films; Gorilla Zoe who is still a rapper who has released several albums and mixtapes; Yung Joc who is still a rapper who has released several albums and appeared on reality TV shows; Elephant Man who is still a dancehall artist who has released several albums; Boyz n da Hood who are still a rap group who have released several albums; 8Ball & MJG who are still a rap duo who have released several albums.
Dancing with the Devil: How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hip-Hop is a book that reveals the dark side of the music industry and its practices that harm artists. It is written by Mark Curry, a former Bad Boy artist, who exposes the truth about how Puffy exploited, manipulated, and betrayed his artists, leaving them in poverty, prison, or worse. It is also a memoir of Curry's experience with Bad Boy, as well as a critique of the music industry and its need for reforms. The book is based on facts, interviews, documents, and personal accounts, and it offers some insights and advice for artists to protect themselves from being ripped off by shady contracts, managers, lawyers, and producers.
In our opinion, this book is an eye-opening and shocking read that exposes the reality behind the glamour and fame of the rap world. It is also a compelling and honest story of one man's journey from being a loyal and talented artist to being a disillusioned and betrayed victim. It is also a valuable and informative resource for anyone interested in the history and culture of hip-hop, especially the rise and fall of Bad Boy Records. We recommend this book to anyone who loves hip-hop music, or anyone who wants to learn more about the music industry and its pitfalls.
Where can I download the PDF version of the book?
You can download the PDF version of the book from the Internet Archive website at https://archive.org/details/dancingwithdevil0000curr.
Is the book based on facts or rumors?
The book is based on facts, interviews, documents, and personal accounts. Curry provides sources and references for his claims and allegations. He also includes photos and copies of contracts, letters, emails, and other evidence to support his story.
What is Puffy's response to the book?
Puffy has not publicly responded to the book or its accusations. However, Curry claims that Puffy tried to stop him from publishing the book by threatening him with legal action. He also says that Puffy offered him money to keep quiet about his experiences with Bad Boy.
How did other Bad Boy artists react to the book?
Some of the former Bad Boy artists have supported Curry and his book, such as The Lox, Mase, Black Rob, G-Dep, Loon, Carl Thomas, Mario Winans, New Edition, Dream, Danity Kane, Day26, Donnie Klang , Cassie Ventura , French Montana , Machine Gun Kelly , Red Cafe , King Los , Janelle Monáe , Gorilla Zoe , Yung Joc , Elephant Man , Boyz n da Hood , 8Ball & MJG . They have expressed their agreement with Curry's allegations and their appreciation for his courage and honesty. They have also shared their own stories of being mistreated by Puffy and Bad Boy. Some of them have also collaborated with Curry on his music projects after leaving Bad Boy.
What is Mark Curry doing now?
Mark Curry is still pursuing his music career as an independent artist. He has released several albums and singles since leaving Bad Boy, such as It's Only Time, Front St., They'll Never Know, It's Only Time 2, Mark My Words, Live from the Mother Ship, and more. He has also collaborated with other artists, such as The Lox, Mase, Black Rob, G-Dep, Loon, Carl Thomas, Mario Winans, New Edition, Dream, Danity Kane, Day26, Donnie Klang , Cassie Ventura , French Montana , Machine Gun Kelly , Red Cafe , King Los , Janelle Monáe , Gorilla Zoe , Yung Joc , Elephant Man , Boyz n da Hood , 8Ball & MJG . He has also performed at several shows and events, such as the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour in 2016. He is currently working on his new album The Other Side of Mark Curry, which is expected to be released soon.
Curry is also involved in other projects and activities outside of music. He is a motivational speaker who shares his story and wisdom with young people and aspiring artists. He is also an entrepreneur who owns a juice bar in Miami, Florida. He is also a philanthropist who supports various causes and charities, such as the Combs Foundation, the Daddy's House Social Programs Foundation, the Citizen Change (Vote or Die) campaign, and more. He is also a family man who has a wife and four children.
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