With more than 50,000 fans in attendance, the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour made it’s D.C. stop this weekend headlined by founder, hip-hop mogul and entertainer Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs.
The show celebrated the music label’s two-decade run of success with its signature artists, featuring Lil’ Kim, Mase, 112, Carl Thomas, The LOX, Faith Evans, French Montana and special guest DMX.
During the show, Combs presented Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick a check of $1,000,000 for scholarships and internships for undergraduate Business majors.
“Going to Howard University changed my life,” Combs said. “It made me believe I could do anything.”
After opening the show, Mase joined Puff onstage to perform a medley of their “shiny suit” hip-hop era hits such as “Been Around the World” and “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down.”
R&B acts 112 and Total followed, performing their own respective hit ballads like “Cupid” and “Kissin’ You.” After, Yonkers rap group The LOX rushed the stage and provided energy, performing hip-hop classics like “We Gon Make It.”
Taking the show back to R&B, Carl Thomas and Faith Evans both delivered their signature songs during their sets.
“When we first started out, D.C. was one of the first places we came to. D.C. is a special place,” Evans said to the sold out crowd.
Soon after, Lil’ Kim appeared on stage to a rousing ovation. A crowd favorite, fans in the audience sang her hits “Get Money” and “No Time (Remix)” word for word.
The show commenced with a tribute to the late Biggie Smalls, featuring all of the performers playing a medley of his greatest hits. With images of him and other late musicians on the screen, the show commemorated his memory and celebrated the legacy he helped shape.
Claiming the city as his “second home,” the Washington, D.C., Combs was a student at Howard University before the hit records, multi-million dollar business deals and cable network. After two years at the school, Combs dropped out only to have his big break shortly afterwards.
He was offered an internship at Uptown Records — an instrumental record label key to the New Jack Swing and R&B movement of the early ‘90s. When he was promoted to talent director, he would be critical to the success of acts Heavy D, Jodeci and Mary J. Blige.
After being fired from Uptown in 1993, Combs started his own label, Bad Boy Records, making a the then-up and coming rapper Notorious B.I.G the label’s first mainstream act. With the success of Biggie’s debut album, “Ready to Die” the following year, the label would go onto provide the signature sound of 90’s hip-hop and launch Combs’ career into superstardom.
Since its inception, the label has sold 400 million albums around the world, 38 of which were certified platinum.
The Bad Boy Family Tour ends next week in Inglewood, CA.
Sunday Blue, Contributing Writer