And in 1993 Bad Boy Entertainment was born. The production company quickly made Combs even more highly sought after in the hip-hop world, with the likes of Faith Evans, 112 and, most famously, the influential rapper Biggie Smalls all signing with Combs’ label.
By the time 1997 rolled around, Combs had turned his record company into a monumental success. It was also a difficult time for him, however, mainly due to the death of his friend Biggie Smalls. The rapper, better known as Notorious B.I.G, was killed in a drive-by shooting in March of that year, just a few months before Combs released his debut album No Way Out.
Yet despite its tragic genesis, the record scooped up the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in 1998. For the first time, it was clear that Combs was just as comfortable with a mic in his hand as he was in the producer’s chair. And just like that, he was now a bona-fide music artist in his own right.