It seems another artist of Sean “Diddy” Combs is calling him out. Singer Dawn Richards, who was a part of the girl group Danity Kane (with Aubrey O’Day, D. Woods, Shannon Bex, and Aundrea Fimbres) and musical duo Dirty Money (with Kalenna Harper) says Diddy was a horrible manager. Richards’s comments seem to be a familiar pattern made by several other artists signed under the self-made mogul. During reality shows, MTV’s Making the Band (2000-2009) and I Want to Work for Diddy (2012) fans were given a sneak peek into what it was like to work for the producer. On several occasions, viewers witnessed Diddy’s overbearing personality and quest for perfection required from the up and coming artists.
Diddy, whose name has changed several times over the last three decades, came onto the scenes in the early 90’s. At the time, the up and coming producer worked at Uptown Records under Andre Harrell. His claim to fame came after he helped launch the careers of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.’s and Lil Kim—along with the role he played in Mary J. Blige’s music career.
Upon leaving Uptown Records, Combs launched his own label, Bad Boy Records (1990) to which he signed a roster of superstars. Groups and R&B artists that include: Faith Evans, 112, Total, Carl Thomas, Danity Kane—to hip-hop artists—The Lox, Craig Mack, Shyne, Lil Cease and others.
Recently appearing on a podcast, Richards spoke about what it was really like working for the icon. The singer admitted that his reasoning behind being harsh was to prepare the young artist for the brutal industry she was becoming a part of. Richards told the host a lot of the things Diddy said to her would not be received well post Me Too movement.
According to Celebrity Insider, the singer stated, “He would bring us in the room and say, ‘You’re ugly. You gotta fix your face.’ Wild stuff. But he was preparing us for what the industry would be. But if we would have done what we did in this time, Puff would have been crucified. Because you can’t talk to women now — what he was saying, it was aggressive. It was really aggressive. It was crazy.”
This singer’s comments came a couple weeks after the multi-platinum producer criticized the Grammy’s for how they treat black artists. During a pre-Grammy gala, Combs was presented with an Icon Award and used his platform to call out the Academy during his acceptance speech.
“For years we’ve allowed institutions that have never had our best interests at heart to judge us. And that stops right now. We need the artists to take back control.”
Shortly after his comments, former label artist Mase (born Mason Durell Bertha) took the opportunity to call out Diddy for his black excellence hypocrisy. In an Instagram post, Mase stated that he’d been trying to do exactly what Combs is beckoning the record companies to do—gain the publishing rights to his music.
“For example, [you] still got my publishing [rights] from 24 years ago in which [you] gave me $20k. Which makes me never want to work [with] [you] as any artist wouldn’t after [you] know someone is robbing you & tarnishing your name when [you] don’t want to comply [with] his horrendous business model,” Mase wrote on Instagram, tagging Combs’ account. “However, people would always ask what’s up [with] Mase? So I would be forced to still perform to not look crazy when I was getting peanuts and the robbery would continue.”
Mase’s comments seemed to aligned with what Richards stated regarding Combs being a horrible manager. Although the singer stated a lot of the producers comments were cruel, she followed them up with saying how she was grateful for them because she learned a lot. Richards has recently reunited with girl group, Danity Kane. Her comments followed an announcement regarding the show Making the Band is being revived.