Brooklyn rapper Red Cafe has opened up about his relationship with Diddy and how he handles the critics who feel he may have made a bad career move by signing with Bad Boy Records a couple years ago.
With plans to drop his long-awaited debut next year, Cafe claims Puff has worked closely with him on the LP.
“Working with Puff … he watches over everyone. He’s a part of the project from start to finish. He’s very hands on. Even when I’m in the studio alone, he checks on me and sees if things are done right and the way he wants it to go. This is Bad Boy’s legacy. This is his legacy. … A lot of the bad talk about Puff mainly come from artists that had success with Puff, get platinum albums with Puff, who just never got the position themselves to take control of their lives and careers. They just wanted their hands to be held for the rest of their lives. The things they say are not valid to me. Puff made all of his artists go platinum or gold. He set a platform for you to go and do your own thing. That doesn’t apply to me because I was already an artist on my own touring the world, just creating revenue for Red Café on my own.” (Global Grind)
In summer 2009, Diddy defended his decision to add Cafe to Bad Boy, home to R&B diva Cassie.
“He’s a well-respected lyricist and emcee in the whole New York hip-hop scene,” Diddy said in an interview. “But he’s not the average New York rapper. He has something special. That’s why we signed him…We thought it would be a great idea to collaborate, to put our forces together, to ensure the success of Red’s career…He’s been hustling on the scene for, like, seven years now. Maybe longer than that. He’s just now coming into his own. It’s a 50/50 split. It’s no secret to the deal. That’s the best way to do partnerships with your friends and family. Hopefully, we can join our forces together and take Red to the place he needs to be taken to.” (MTV)
Diddy previously spoke with radio personality Jenny Boom Boom about the significance of bringing Red to his label and his history of past accomplishments.
“As far as my track record, I’ve only worked with the best in the game,” Diddy explained. “Whether it’s from Biggie to Jadakiss to The Lox to Jay-Z, KRS-One, LL [Cool J], that’s who I’m used to working with. And so at Bad Boy, we haven’t really signed a lot of hip-hop acts. And this year, when that ball dropped, I was like focused and said I really need to find somebody that speaks the same language as Bad Boy and I can throw all this muscle behind…I’ve known him for a while and seen him mature and evolve and grow, he just has the Bad Boy attitude. He hasn’t stopped…I called Akon up, who he still has a deal with, and I tried to get some stuff together…East coast hip-hop hasn’t been up to par. What I’m saying is when it’s done right, it’s nothing like Red Cafe, it’s nothing like Biggie, it’s nothing like Nas, it’s nothing like KRS-One and Rakim, it’s nothing like that.” (Jenny Boom Boom)
Prior to apologizing, former Bad Boy Records rapper Black Rob dished out his issues with Puff in summer 2010.
“As far as all the people at Bad Boy, nobody reached out to me [when I was in jail] because all it takes is the press of a button, department of corrections, you know my name and birthday, I used to work here,” Black Rob said in an interview. “When I heard this n*gga went to see [Lil] Wayne in jail and you ain’t come and see BR? After all the years we spent together? Like, that sh*t didn’t mean nothing to you, dawg? You actually think I’m not your man? So that right there, told me, that n*gga was never my man. You had like 50 employees, you ain’t even have to write the letter — Puff wasn’t the one doing the records with me, he was just the last word. ‘Good record. I like that, I wanna get on that.’ He’s not in the studio, 20 hours, 15 hours with me, never. It wasn’t no love over there man. It wasn’t no love. Dudes was just using, just trying to use me…They used the Black Rob Report as a spring board for the Biggie duet album. Puff wasn’t doing nothing. He ain’t have no records out. It was dry, everybody was going.” (This Is 50)
Red Cafe’s Shakedown solo album is slated to hit stores in early 2012.
Check out some recent Red Cafe footage below: