The Combs Curse? Embattled Diddy’s record labels marked by murder, untimely deaths and prison


The Curse of Combs may finally be catching up with Diddy.

After meteoric initial success, the two record labels associated with beleaguered hip-hop impresario Sean “Diddy” Combs have both collapsed during a spiral involving murder, death and imprisonment.

And Combs himself is now in the crosshairs of the law after federal law enforcement raids on his homes in Los Angeles and Miami in the wake of a number of stunning lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct.

The rapid ascent of Diddy, a former backup dancer, began when he started as an intern at Uptown records in 1990 at age 20 and was recruited by CEO Andre Harrell to work with their growing stable of young artists.

In launching Uptown, Harrell also tapped assistant Kim Porter to handle a variety of affairs as the budding label signed a young Yonkers rapper named Heavy D as its first act.

With rap’s popularity beginning to burgeon, the company had a string of successful releases and appeared primed to entrench itself as an industry power.

Sean “P. Diddy” Combs was first hired at Uptown Records as an intern under CEO Andre Harrell in 1990. WireImage

Diddy himself was vital in moulding the popularity of several emerging stars, including Mary J. Blige and the R&B group Jodeci.

But Harrell would later part ways with Combs over business and creative differences in 1993, and the ambitious Diddy would go on to form the label he became synonymous with, Bad Boy Records.

Tragically, the key originators of Uptown — Harrell, Porter and Heavy D, whose real name was Dwight Myers — would all later die untimely deaths.

Former Uptown employee Kim Porter had a sporadic relationship with Diddy and had three chidlren with him. FilmMagic, Inc

Myers passed away after collapsing in front of his Beverly Hills home at age 44 in 2011 from a pulmonary embolism that stemmed from a blood clot in his leg.

Porter, who had a volatile relationship with Diddy and bore him three children, died at age 47 in 2018 in Toluca Lake, Calif. She had been suffering flu-like symptoms for days before her passing, and a medical examiner concluded that she suffered from pneumonia.

Harrell himself would pass in 2020 at age 59 in West Hollywood, Calif. His ex-wife said at the time that he died from heart failure.

Heavy D was one of the first signees to Uptown Records, the label where Diddy got his start. WireImage

Another early pillar at Uptown Records, singer Al B., Sure!, who also dated Porter, suddenly suffered renal failure in 2022, was intubated and fell into a coma for two months.

The Boston crooner, whose real name is Albert Brown, had a liver transplant and fully recovered.

The Bad Boy label, after initially vaulting to global renown based largely on the strength of rap immortal Notorious B.I.G. and Diddy’s savvy guidance, would also suffer through a string of deaths and criminal investigations.

Bad Boys records shot to fame under the banner of Diddy and the Notorious B.I.G. Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

The burly Brooklyn rapper Biggie, whose name was Christopher Wallace, was shot dead in a Los Angeles drive-by shooting at age 24 in 1997 during an ongoing coastal war with California rappers — most notably Tupac Shakur, who was killed the year earlier.

Bronx-born rhymer Craig Mack, another early Bad Boy standout, died at age 47 in 2018 in South Carolina from heart failure after having embraced Christianity and working with a ministry there.

East Harlem Bad Boy artist Black Rob, whose real name was Rob Ross, died in 2021 at age 52 from cardiac arrest in Atlanta after being homeless and suffering several strokes.

Diddy dated Jennifer Lopez for several years before they split up. AFP via Getty Images

Several other artists on the label’s roster were imprisoned, too, after being charged with a variety of crimes.

The most notable among them was Belize-born rapper Shyne, who served eight years in prison after being convicted of a nightclub shooting incident that involved Diddy and his then-girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez.

A jury convicted Shyne of firing three shots during the crime after the Bad Boy contingent had an argument with another club attendee.

Bad Boy rapper Shyne was sentenced to prison for a 1999 New York nightclub shooting. Martin Grant/BEI/Shutterstock

Diddy and his close friend and bodyguard Anthony “Wolf” Jones also faced charges stemming from the incident but were acquitted in a sensational case, which gripped New York City at the time.

While he survived the criminal case, Jones was later shot and killed after a confrontation outside of an Atlanta nightclub in 2003.

Former Bad Boy rapper Travell “G. Dep” Coleman, who also copped to a 1993 cold-case murder outside a housing project in 2010, had his 15 years to life sentence commuted last year by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Diddy’s close friend and bodyguard Anthony “Wolf “Jones was shot dead in 2003. Getty Images

Another former Bad Boy act, Amir Junaid Muhadiuth, known as the rapper Loon, served seven years for drug-trafficking before he was granted an early release in 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis.

Several high-profile entertainers, including Snoop and Mary J. Blige, lobbied for his release.

As for the latest legal issues for Combs, his lawyers have ripped the actions as a baseless “witch hunt” and said he is innocent of the swirl of accusations now encircling him.


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