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Processo 🥂 — Vol 50
Take that, Take that.
We’ve had 50 motherfucking lunches together. There is so much to celebrate today. It’s an extra special day.
Cheers to my 50th volume.
Monday Lunch officially turns TWO on August 17th. SO this is a happy motherfucking birthday celebration too.
You know how hard it is to be consistent?
I’ve been consistently having lunch with you on the first and third Monday every month for two years. Two! And a bish only been late a few times. I’m always sliding into your inbox at 11:30a. That’s how much I enjoy having lunch with you.
But wait, there’s more.
My baby turns six months TA-DAY!
Crazy to think that when we started having lunch, there was no JJ, and now, you have seen me transform into a new phase of life. That’s pretty dope.
My baby is six months!
I’m lightweight sad because I know this cuddly I don’t roll yet baby will be moving and shaking soon, and I will be struggling to catch a breather. I’m also not ready for him to have teeth. Once this little boy gets teeth, I will have a mini meltdown because that means he will never have that adorable gummy smile that I melt over.
Y’all, I love him. I’m totally obsessed.
Speaking of obsessed mothers, have y’all seen #sMothered on TLC? Chillleeeee, if I start acting like this with John-Joseph Marlowe Williams, please COME GET ME!
That Paula and Francia mother-daughter relationship is weird AF. Something not right.
Anywho…raise a motherfucking (ok, yall, that’s my last MF for the day. It’s still early) glass to my 50th volume, Monday Lunch turning two, and my amazing baby turning six months!
I have been waiting until this very moment, my 50th volume, to ki-ki about my favorite person to love and clown at the same damn time. I’ve mentioned him at 11 lunches, but we’ve never dedicated a topic or lunch to…
Sean “Puffy” Combs
This one is going to be amazing. Check the hyperlinks for some nostalgic surprises. It’s always about the hyperlinks friends. I add them for a reason.
You know we must start every ki-ki with a little history lesson. You always learn something during lunch with me. I’m that type of friend.
Puffy was born in Harlem on November 4, 1969. We all know about Puffy's fabulous and always high mama. But did we know his daddy was an associate of the big-time drug dealer Frank Lucas? Hmm
Raised in Mount Vernon, Puffy played football in high school and even helped the team win a division title in ’86. I can’t see him playing football.
Growing up, his family called him Puff because he “huffed and puffed” all around the house. It makes so much sense why Puffy always be whining.
There is not much out there on Puff’s early life. I think because by the time he was 19, he was a millionaire.
I envision young Puffy as the kid you watched always hustling or focused on something you could never quite understand. Like the 14-year-old boy who constantly checks his watch like he always late for something.
Puffy ends up at Howard as a business major but drops out once he lands this internship at Uptown Records in 1990. Y’all should know the rest of the story from here. BIG, Mary J, Kim Porter, etc.
I would have loved to go to a Puffy party back at Howard before he got big.
Fun fact, Puffy was at Howard at the same time as Anthony Anderson and Marlon Wayans, also Howard dropouts. But Anthony when back and finally got his degree THIS YEAR! Good for him. I would have been like *deuces*!
There are several stories about why Puffy got fired from Uptown Records in ’93. One story is that Andre Harrell fired him to teach him about his ego. The other is that he was fired because Uptown Records wouldn’t release BIG’s album because of its very real-life explicit lyrics and language. But to me, that doesn’t make sense.
What you won't find on the internet is this reason. Puff got fired because he punched a middle-aged white man who was an executive at Uptown Records in the face during a meeting.
But when you get fired, and you end up with a lyrical rap god like The Notorious BIG, you set. Puff probably knew BIG would be big, so he probably walked off like, “cool with me, I was about to quit anyways.”
Check out this rare home video footage of Puff & BIG at Howard Homecoming in ‘95.
Again, we all know how this story ends and goes again. So let’s talk about my favorite love-to-hate Puffy moments
Bad Boy in the 90s
You cannot mention music in the 90s without naming one of his megastar acts. Bad Boy’s first single released was Craig Mack’s Flava in Ya Ear, followed by his debut album in ’94. But soon after, Puffy released Juicy by Biggie, and Craig Mack’s gold album was merely a blip compared to the multi-platinum success of Ready to Die.
Craig Mack, The Notorious BIG, Faith Evans, Total, 112, Mase, and The Lox made Bad Boy’s debut years something to remember for the rest of our lives.
Between 94-99, Bad Boy had 23 major airway and video hits from six of his label mates.
Flavor in Ya Ear (’94)
Big Poppa (’94)
One More Chance (’95)
Can’t You See (’95)
No One Else (’95)
You Used to Love Me (’95)
Soon as I Get Home (’95)
Kissin’ You (’96)
Only You (’96)
Mo Money Mo Problems (’97)
Sky’s the Limit (’97) - BIG’s last single
Feels So Good (’97)
What You Want (’97)
Love Like This (’98)
Love Me (’98)
Money Power Respect (’98)
All Night Long (’99)
Get Ready (’99)
Many of these artists entered the new millennium with Bad Boy and continued to have success until the mid-00s. Then it seemed like the sound Puffy was good at pinpointing started to become a bit shaky.
Some of our favorite artists were putting out singles and albums that we didn’t rock with.
Like Total first album is a classic, it’s not a no-skip album, but it has more bops than flops. Their second album, not so much. It’s like two jawns on there. Same thing with Mase. First album, strong, second, meh.
Carl Thomas is another example. His debut album, Emotional, had three singles we will remember for years. But his second album was such a bust. There was barely any promotion, and zero singles dropped. Carl left Bad Boy soon after that.
You couldn’t tell the streets anything when Bad Boyz dropped in 2000. We all thought Bad Boy was finally on the up and up again. Then the rap Ballard Bonnie & Shyne came out. It had all the girls wanted a New York hustla. Shyne had a very promising career, and then he took the heat for Puffy.
112 ran a little longer than most, but they came out the gates bussin’. While they blessed us with the likes of Peaches and Cream in 2001, most of their all-timers are from their early days.
Faith Evans is probably one of the only artists from the early Bad Boy days that was able to keep a single or two on the charts through the 2000s. She only had three albums on Bad Boy, with her last one, Faithfully, giving us the epic ballad I Love You.
Y’all remember when Puffy went and got him a pop group of four white girls, Dream? He Loves U Not was a hit and was lighting TRL up. But their second single, This is Me, TERRIBLE. That was pretty much it for them after that.
We all forget that Loon didn’t just appear on the Uber-catchy I Need a Girl Part 1 & 2. He had a whole album that was just meh.
Mario Winan’s I Don’t Wanna Know will always live in our heads, but he also rides the I Need a Girl coattail (part 2 only), so much that he even tried to make a part 3 without Puffy?!
Then there was a shift in music around the middle of the 2000s. The south was making a name for itself, so what did our good friend do? Start Bad Boy South. Oh Puffy!
Acts like 8Ball & MJG, Boyz n da Hood, and Yung Joc, amongst others, flocked to Puffy to see if he could make them pop again. It might have worked a little bit, but mainly small sparkler moments here and there.
Around this time, you can also tell Puffy is scraping to keep Bad Boy name in the streets because…
Making the Band
Reality TV was making a name for itself in the 2000s. MTV Real World had already given us eight seasons as we entered the new millennium.
Folks forget that Puffy hopped on Making the Band during its second season. Season one centered around that boy band called O-Town. Two and half years later, Puffy took over, and we all fell in love with this musical reality tv series.
Making the Band 2 ran for three seasons.
Season 1 was all about casting the group. Season 2 followed members Babs, Ness, Chopper, Dylan, Freddy P, and Sarah as they tried to make it as a group. Sarah didn’t even make a vocal appearance on their first single Bad Boy This Bad Boy That.
IMO, there were way too many members. Puffy was being greedy. He could have left 2-3 of them off (Fred, Chopper, and Dylan cause he ain’t really fit). I think he figured that out by season 3 and dissolved the group, only keeping Babs & Ness. He also signed Chopper, who changed his name to Young City, to Bad Boy South.
No one is still in the game, by the way.
Now we have arrived at Season 3, and Puffy wants to do it again; make another got damn band.
I remember watching the trailer for this season and thinking, “these folks are so simple. Can’t they see Puffy can only temporarily make you hot?” But I guess that is enough for some.
This time he focuses on a girl group.
It took him two full seasons to end up with the chosen five, Aubrey, Wanita (D-Woods), Shannon, Dawn, and Aundrea.
Now I liked Danity Kane. I had some major hopes for these five. Their first and second album was great. But as all great Bad Boy acts, it came to an end.
Aubrey went through some of the most insane transformations. Like her face is lightweight scary now. My favorite out of this group, surprisingly, was Shannon. There is so much drama surrounding this group that it needs a topic one day. So imma move on.
Making the Band 4 gave us Day26. Puffy tried to recreate the all-male group era with these five men, Willie, Q, Brian, Mike, & Robert. It didn’t work. And it didn’t work because the era of groups, especially that size, has phased out.
At one point, you couldn’t make it in the music industry if you weren’t in a group. Nowadays, groups don’t even make it.
I did enjoy watching Day26 & Danity Kane in the final two seasons of this iteration of MTB, but again, like all great Bad Boy stories, it came to an end.
Puffy is linked to so many people in the industry that I’ve mentioned him eleven times before today. Let’s revisit; cliff notes style.
Volume 14: The ’95 Source Awards will forever go down as one of the best awards shows in our culture. Bad Boy was all over this award show. Biggie performed twice and won four awards. Total, Craig Mack and Faith Evans also performed. But we all know the highlight was Suge dissing Puffy during an acceptance speech. If you’ve never seen the ’95 Source Awards, watch the entire show here.
Volume 20: Sometimes I wish Puffy stayed with JLo. Weren’t they so cute together during this era? But after Puffy started a fight and dipped out on everyone, she probably knew he eventually would do the same to her. We did get two great songs from Puffy after this breakup tho. Can you guess? I mentioned them already.
Volume 23: I miss music video days—especially the days where you had fifty-leven artists making cameos. Missy’s “The Rain” video had Puffy dancing around in it with a few other Bad Boy artists.
Volume 26: In this very special all about Aaliyah volume, I mention the man who should be buried under the jail looking like a creep on the cover of her debut album and compared him to Puffy, saying that even though Puffy was constantly all up in his artist videos dancing, he never went this far as showing up in the background of one of his artist album cover. Whew, this was an interesting run-on sentence.
Volume 30: If you haven’t read my Karrine Steffans volume, baaaabbbbyyyy. All I gotta say is that there is a finger in the booty Puffy reference.
Volume 31: I put many people on to the story of Charli Baltimore and BIG with this one. Charli is always left out of the story of Biggie, but I gave her her flowers. Sometimes I wonder what Puffy would have been without Biggie. Could he have traveled as far without him?
Volume 32: While at Uptown, Jodeci was aligned to Puffy. He also met two of his three baby moms there too, Kim Porter & Misa Hylton. Also learned in ’97, Puff co-executive produced Usher’s first album, which was a total flop. Glad Usher saw that he was not going to make his career pop.
Volume 33: Who even remembers that he performed at the ’04 super bowl? You only remember Janet’s nip.
Volume 35: Puff owes his entire start to Heavy D. If it wasn’t for this light skin man who made big men sexy, he wouldn’t have hit his millionaire status at 19.
Volume 40: I’m so glad that Puffy stopped acting because even though his part was small in Monster’s Ball, his performance as Halle Berry’s husband was subpar. And one of our favorite 00s hip-hop couples met at a Puffy party.
Volume 43: No one knew how Puffy would recover after BIG was murdered. I believe Mase helped him do this. And even though I feel like Pastor Mase let his congregation, including me, down, I still rock with him.
Well we toasted to a lot today and chatted about someone who helped many of our favorites get their start and end.
Imma end with this.
Puffy is doing precisely what he should be doing right now—giving these young jawns a time of their lives and spending cash on them.
See you next month friend.