Diddy once had the opportunity to sign 50 Cent to Bad Boy Records, but ultimately passed up on offering Fif a record deal. During a recent sit-down with DJ Vlad, G-Unit member Tony Yayo recalled a meeting that took place between Diddy, 50 and himself. The meeting occurred during the early aughts and at a time when Fif was the hottest prospect in rap.
“A lot of people don’t know this story,” Yayo revealed. “50 went to Diddy for Bad Boy. A lot of people don’t know that. We had the meeting. And it was so crazy that Diddy didn’t sign him – I know that was one of the biggest mistakes of Bad Boy. And you know, the [Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff] situation — a lot of people were scared of Preme — 50 wasn’t.” Yayo contends that 50 and G-Unit’s various beefs in the streets and within the industry were ultimately the reason Diddy backed away from taking on Fif. In light of The Notorious B.I.G.’s passing just a few years prior, Diddy was hesitant to have Fif as Bad Boy’s new flagship artist.
“He was like, ‘Yeah, we can’t sign you, playboy,” Yayo said of Diddy’s reasoning. “It’s too much. It’s too much drama with the Biggie stuff and all that.’” He continued, adding “We had a meeting with Diddy, it was me and 50, and he took the meeting out of respect.”
In regards to the timeline, the meeting between 50 and Diddy likely occurred sometime in 2002, as Yayo notes it happened following the attempt on Fif’s life in 2000. “This was after ‘How to Rob,’ just after he got shot and he had all the mixtapes shit on smash. D-Dot was working with 50 on ‘How to Rob.’” Yayo also remembers Diddy, whom 50 had ghostwritten for in the past, giving him advice about three things every rap star is destined to have.
“50 wrote for Diddy before, way back, it might have been [G-Dep’s ‘Let’s Get It’], one of those joints,” Yayo said. “What I’m saying is, out that meeting, [Diddy] said, ‘Three things about rappers: bank accounts, bitches and Bentleys.’ We didn’t have any money at that point, but it stayed in my head. And later on, I had what he said. I had bank accounts, bitches and Bentleys. And that makes you a target. I’ve been shot at numerous times, but I say those prayers before I leave the house.”
While the offer from Diddy fell through, 50 Cent eventually signed with Shady Records and released his multiplatinum debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin‘, in 2003.
Watch Tony Yayo’s interview with DJ Vlad below.