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Juicy, juicy, juicy!! What a great week to have a provocative and scandalous tell-all book for this week’s “Read A Book” Thursday.
And, this week’s featured author is, Mark Curry, a former Bad Boy recording artist who reveals everything in his new memoir, Dancing With The Devil: How Puff Burned The Bad Boys of Hip Hop, (MewMark Books, $19.95/Feb. 2009).
Mark Curry is an Atlanta-based entertainer who was signed to the Bad Boy Entertainment record label from 1997 until 2005. He wrote most of Diddy’s first hit singles, including “Come With Me” from the 1998 Godzilla soundtrack featuring Led Zeppelin.
Curry made his debut in 1999 on “Forever,” which went platinum, and was also a major player on Diddy’s 2001 album, “Bad Boy for Life,” which nominated in the 2002 Grammy Awards for “Best Rap Song of the Year.” He has toured with Britney Spears, N.Y.S.N.C, and Jay-z and made special appearance performances on BET, MTV, “David Letterman,” “Good Morning America,” “Soul Train,” and “Showtime at the Apollo.” He wrote many of the hits that made Sean “Puffy” Combs one of the richest men alive.
Mark Curry, is a former member of Sean “Diddy” Combs label Bad Boy Records. He is known for his innovative style of rapping by rhyming almost every last word on each line in his verses. As well as being a rapper he has also produced many songs for rappers such as Ali Vegas, LL Cool J and various Bad Boy artists as well. His first appearances were as a featured rapper on other artists songs, most notably “Gangsta Shit” on Diddy’s (then Puff Daddy) second album Forever along with Lil’ Kim, and “Dangerous MC’s” along with Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes on The Notorious B.I.G. second posthumous release Born Again respectively. He has appeared on many other tracks in his Bad Boy career including the track he is most well known for “Bad Boy For Life” along with Black Rob in 2001 on the P. Diddy album The Saga Continues… which reached #33 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and #13 in the UK top 40 respectively, this is also where his career peaked.
I spoke with Mark Curry about his new book and why he decided to tell-all in his poignant memoir. There have been very few people and artists, who’ve spoken out and against Sean “Puffy” Combs. And, Mr. Curry didn’t hold back in this interview and as he states, “I don’t fear man!”
TD: Why did you decide to write, Dancing With Devil?
MC: I wrote Dancing with the Devil so that I would be able to express myself as far as doing business and dealing with Sean Combs. What I thought was opportunity didn’t turn out to be that way. I was misled and I wanted to share my story with other people so they could understand what the business is like. Not only does Dancing with the Devil talk about dealing with Sean Combs, it educates the readers about the history of music in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York. It a handbook to the Recording Industry.
TD: Have you received any negative feedback, especially from Sean “Puffy” Combs, or any persons from Bad Boy?
MC: The only negative feed back I received was from the friends I discuss in the book that I went to school with. They still deal with Sean Combs and feel like they would be violating their relationship with him by associating with me. It’s like I violated their circle of trust, but it is that same circle of individuals that have been holding us back for all of these years. I exposed the games the music industry plays on artist and they still play these games today. I don’t fear man.
TD: You talk a lot about the entertainment industry and how the business can be a detriment to many new or aspiring artists. What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned you feel artists or anyone interested in becoming an artist should know?
MC: Well, whatever you do, do it first because you love to do it. Good music comes from the heart and no 3rd party person can tell you better about your heart then yourself. Love the hell out of what you do because you might have to go through hell in order to accomplish your mission and never let a man lead your different. A star is born to be, not made.
TD: Have any other artists, present or former, from Bad Boy, or other labels contacted you and offered their support?
MC: I thought when Shyne came home he would of known I was supporting him through his whole ordeal, but he thought differently which kind of surprised me. He said I chose to go the “Super Head” route. I don’t think he read the book to understand it or just can’t deal with the truth. As far as the other artist, Craig Mack, The Hood Fellas, and Faith Evans I still speak with them from time to time.. Black Rob more like every other day since he came home from prison.
TD: What projects do you have in the works and are you still pursuing a career as an artist?
MC: I’m strictly about books now. I found what I’m good at and created a new lane and want to stay in it for a while. There are other ways to express ourselves other than just through Music and I want to leave that platform open to other people who might have an interesting story to tell as well. I do get the urge to do music time and time again, but the state of music in 2010 doesn’t make much of a profit, so I want to do things that can provide for my family as well as other around me. If I considered doing music again, it would be a problem for a lot of artist because I simply feel that they don’t have much to say. Everybody might be able to sing or rap, but not everybody can sing or rap the truth. And I write the songs that make the whole world sing.
If you are interested in finding out more about Mr. Mark Curry, and to also purchase a copy of his book, you can visit his website, HERE!
You can also follow him on Twitter, HERE!
Mr. Curry has graciously agreed to give away five signed copies of his book, Dancing With The Devil. The first five persons to answer this question will recieve a copy – In which Bad Boy video does Mr. Mark Curry make his lyrical and visual debut?
The first five persons to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org will recieve a signed copy of, Dancing With The Devil.