After offering politically correct comments regarding their future with Sean ” P. Diddy” Combs’s Bad Boy Records, Combs’s protege group 112 said they are parting ways with Combs, and have signed a recording deal with the Island Def Jam music group.
The Atlanta-based quartet that includes members Daron Jones, Quinnes “Q” Parker, Michael Keith, and Marvin “Slim” Scandrick released its 1996 self-titled debut on Combs’s label that also featured the late Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, and Craig Mack.
112 signed with Def Jam after it was relieved of its commitment to Bad Boy, Scandrick revealed, “We’re already signed to Def Jam. I’m not sure of the date. But we signed the deal once we found out that we fulfilled all our obligations for the production deal which was, we turned in more than enough masters. I guess that severed ties from the label Bad Boy, and after, it was a strong bidding war. And after that bidding war, Def Jam just made sense for the careers of 112,” he said.
A spokesperson for Combs said Scandrick’s claims are false. “They are signed to Bad Boy, and there is a preliminary injunction in Atlanta and New York that prevents 112 from releasing an album with Island Def Jam,” Combs’s spokesperson said about the court order filed in February. “This is an extraordinary remedy from court to do this. The court only grants such an injunction if they are convinced that there is substantial likelihood that the plaintiff (Bad Boy) will prevail at trial.”
A spokesperson for Island Def Jam said she could not discuss whether 112 was signed to the label due to the injunction.
Both Combs and 112 agree, however, that there is a standstill agreement in place that prevents the group from recording. The group meets daily to discuss song ideas and concepts while awaiting a decision, Scandrick said. “As soon as the judge rules and gives us point of direction, then we’ll proceed,” 112’s manager, Marcus Grant of The Firm revealed. “But right now, like Slim said, they are just being creative and just getting their chemistry ready for this amazing fourth album they’re going to put out.”
The dispute between Combs and 112 stems from the group’s charges that Bad Boy did not compensate or promote them according to their worth. Scandrick said that while the group handled the majority of the writing and or producing on many of its hit songs (“Anywhere,” “It’s Over Now,” “Peaches & Cream”), Combs received 100 percent of the group’s publishing for six years, and often neglected to feature the group on award shows, saving the limelight for himself. Scandrick added that the group’s former attorney begged them not to sign their first contract with Bad Boy, but the group signed the contract anyway, believing Combs’s promises to treat them fairly.
Scandrick’s allegations that Combs previously owned 100 percent of 112’s publishing are incorrect, according to Comb’s spokesperson. “They had a traditional co-publishing deal for which they were paid substantial advances commensurate with the then prevailing market rate,” the spokesperson said. “And the advances have been renegotiated to pay 112 even greater advances on several occasions.”
Combs successfully renegotiated 112’s contract twice, and recently made a “substantial” offer for what would have been the third contractual revision for the group, Combs’s spokesperson said.
But according to Scandrick, Combs’s recent offer was not up to par with the other label bids. “What he offered wasn’t close to the last deal. Like, the deal that was the less. It wasn’t close. It wasn’t the money, the points, percentage, everything. It was nothing. So for him to say we’re letting outside influences, people talk to us to influence our decisions, we’re looking at our record deal.”
Scandrick and the other members of 112 love Combs like a brother and just want to be signed to a record label willing to give them what they are worth, Scandrick said. “We don’t want all this problems, you know what I’m saying? We don’t condone all the fighting and all the wild stuff. If anything, you know, once we pursued our production agreement, you notice that we’re not bashing him or nothing like that. I mean, we just want what we deserve. It’s him that took it to the Federal courts. I mean, we’re very confident in our squad, our lawyer, and our management team, our new management team, The Firm. We never complained once. Now that we fulfilled it. Leave us alone.”
Combs’s spokesperson, who added that Combs anticipates working with the group on future Bad Boy projects, said that Combs deserves credit for developing the group. “Mr. Combs signed 112, created their image and hitmaking sound, establishing 112 as one of the hottest R&B groups,” the spokesperson said. “As he has done with so many others, Sean Combs made 112 into the successful group they are today.”
As a result of the squabbling, Combs has a vendetta against the group, Scandrick said. When Scandrick last spoke to Combs while in an Atlanta club, Combs expressed harsh words, Scandrick said. “He handed me a bottle of Cristal like, ‘There’s no love lost,'” Scandrick said, quoting Combs. “‘But I’m going to teach ya’ll a lesson in business.'”
According to Combs’s spokesperson, Combs never made such a charge. Combs did tell MTV that he would get past his differences with the group after allowing the courts to intervene. “We’ll take them back in, cradle them,” Combs said. “We’ll get their minds right, and put out a new hot album and let bygones be bygones.”