Combs has big plans

The producer claims his former bosses didn't let him release much product.
NEW YORK -- P. Diddy's ready to turn up the volume at Warner Music Group.
After finalizing a deal Thursday to sell half of his Bad Boy Entertainment to Warner Music for $30 million, Sean (P. Diddy) Combs is ready to focus on new releases, including a duets album showcasing the music of deceased rapper Notorious B.I.G. and a P. Diddy solo album.
"I'm excited about starting the next era," Combs said.
Combs and Warner Music have set up a joint venture that will release music from Bad Boy's current roster, while exploiting its deep catalogue of past recordings.
The first release from the newly named Bad Boy Records will come from Boyz N Da Hood, followed by an album from B5. Combs said he expects to put out between eight and 10 CDs a year.
But Combs sounded less certain about the future of rapper Mase, with whom he is said to be feuding. When asked whether Mase, who returned to the music biz after a stint as a minister, will stay with Bad Boy, Combs said, "As of right now, he is remaining on the label. We get along."
The deal comes as Warner Music gets ready to sell stock to the public in a $750 million IPO. The record giant is banking on Combs to improve its standing in urban music. Warner has watched its sales slide as it underwent wrenching cutbacks over the last year.
Good investment
Combs also is seen as a superstar whose name would resonate with Wall Street investors.
The deal was spearheaded by Warner Music U.S. chief Lyor Cohen, one of the architects of rap powerhouse Def Jam. Thursday, Combs recalled that years ago he tried to get an internship with Cohen but was turned down.
The Warner marriage marks the end of Combs' rocky union with Universal Music Group. Universal, which did not own a stake in Bad Boy but distributed its records, was unhappy with the label's spotty performance. But Combs claimed under Universal he didn't get a chance to put out many records.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.