Throughout the history of Bad Boy's Records, there has been a host of artists that were thrust into the spotlight alongside Diddy. From Biggie to Black Rob, from Shyne to Making the Band, and more recently from MGK to Red Cafe to French Montana, Diddy keeps a roster of artists primed to make it to the big time. Now after taking rapper Los under his wing just a few weeks ago, Diddy hopes to turn one of Baltimore's finest into his next shining star under the Bad Boy imprint. While many fans may not know that Los and Diddy go back to '05, Los explains to AllHipHop.com how the two are coming back together after parting ways for non-musical reasons.
Los also breaks down the Hip-Hop scene in Baltimore, Maryland, and answers questions about the "Baltimore Club Music" phenomenon, known for its fast-paced beats and dance style of music popular among the youth and even some of the toughest characters in the city. But, while Los tells AllHipHop.com he has a new tape in the works with Bad Boy behind it, his current project circulating the streets, The Crown Ain't Safe, is getting rave reviews as it's hosted by DJ ill Will & DJ Drama. Featuring all original music with appearances from DMX, XV, Twista, Lola Monroe, Jazze Pha, Phil Ade and Sean Hayz, Los laces the production from Jahlil Beats, Battleroy, Lifted, The Loft, J Oliver and others on this most recent effort.
Read ahead for AllHipHop.com's introspective look at Diddy's newest signee, and find out why Mr. Combs had to go back and re-up on Los!
AllHipHop.com:Los, what’s good, sir?
Los: Everything. It is coming along great, man, just a lot of work, just doing a lot of shows from the mixtape.
AllHipHop.com: I know everyone has questions about the recent Bad Boy signing, so let's get right to that. Can you speak on how that came together?
Los: Of course. It’s going great, man [laughter]. It’s a great experience, man.
AllHipHop.com: [laughter] That’s great, man. Talk about your relationship with Diddy and how he signed you.
Diddy Announces "Los" As The Newest Member Of Bad Boy
Los: Well, we basically... You know I had a relationship with Puff from the past. In 2005, I was signed to Bad Boy and things didn't work out. Non-musical factors affected us, and we went our separate ways, and I just continued to work and build my brand and put my own thing together. It just so happened I started to get the attention of the masses. And, we had a vested interest and he gave me a call, and we just started talking and communicating and we re-built the friendship and we just sat back and saw where it would go. It all ended up coming full circle, and here we are now, you know?
AllHipHop.com: That’s a beautiful thing that you guys can work out your differences and come back together. It's been a big deal any time Diddy signs someone, but it really seem like, as of late, the artists he's working with are really taking off. Do you have plans to work with MGK or French Montana and any of the other artists on the line-up?
Los: Oh yeah, MGK, French [Montana], Red [Cafe], everyone is extremely talented and cool. I definitely have plans of working with all of them. Cassie has a lot of stuff going on right now with her project she's working on, King of Hearts. We are all kind of figuring out our direction as individual artists, but we come together when we can to help each other. But me, of course I'm just getting my feet wet, but we will definitely all come together.
AllHipHop.com: Do you guys ever all get to come together in person?
Los: At 106 & Park was the first time I was with everybody; I didn't come out [on the show], though, because it wasn't announced yet. Then there was New Year's at Puff's crib.
LOS - The Crown Ain't Safe (Official Trailer)
AllHipHop.com: What can you tell me about Baltimore aside from what everyone thinks goes on because of HBO's TV show, The Wire?
Los: I mean, to be honest with you, it’s not far fetched, you know, The Wire. It's a tough place you know.... It's a tough place, man, it breeds people that are survivors, and you know, it embeds the hustle and it instills strategy, and everything. Because just surviving in Baltimore is like an obstacle course, and when you go through the things that just growing up there naturally puts you through, it just prepares you for the rest of the world - if you can make it there. That’s just basically the way I can sum it up. Baltimore is like boot camp; it conditions you for life, but at the same time, you can't let the elements go over you man and you just have to persevere. When we love we love hard, when we fight we fight harder. When we don't like something, we are very expressive. It's like we have our own little world, and it's governed by our own rules.
AllHipHop.com: I know there are a couple artists that are coming up out of Baltimore. Are there any other artists from Baltimore you think the world should be checking for?
Los: I mean, I feel like every artist from Baltimore has at least a story, because it’s not your typical situation. Like I said, it's tough and musically, it's even tougher because you are trying to make it with no outlets and people are fighting. Times is hard. It's like you can't just get on with good music, it's so much more.
You got Bossman, you got Smash, you got D-Boy, you got Caddie the Don, he's doing really good. You got Star, you have Hundred Grand, but he just got locked up. It's like you still can't escape the elements. No one's doing completely music. Some dudes might be in the streets hard core, but hit the studio to record, or some guys might be working a full time and then record when they can. So the struggle is real, so shouts out to every artist that's doing it from Baltimore. Mully Man went down to Atlanta and started getting things going for himself. He grinds, and he's a really cool guy.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, we are definitely familiar with Mully Man. Speaking of Baltimore music, you guys had a unique sound for a while, that has a real dance style, "Baltimore Club Music." Have you done songs like that?
Los: It's a sound that represents the foundation of the city. It represents a sound that kind of pioneered the Baltimore night life, and it kind of goes way back to house music and you know clubs like Odell's and The Oak Tree and Silver Shadows and the clubs that my mom went to back in the day. House music and DJs like DJ Red and DJ Sean Marshall, DJ Boobie, Frank Ski, DJ Spen, Doo Doo Brown [a popular drum break on the Baltimore Club Scene] , it's part of the history and part of the culture, and it transformed throughout the years. I'm taking you back.
It went into a different sound, but the grassroots of it is the house music and the Baltimore Club Sound. Rest in Peace to K-Swift. You got artists like Ra-Ra; she's from Baltimore and kind of uses that sound. DJ Rod Lee and Miss Tony, and Miss Tony was one of the people that branded it, but it's always popular with the youth. We just have a history so it will always be around, so when you get to a certain age you may detach from it, but it still lingers and it's there.
AllHipHop.com: That’s crazy that you know your history like that. That’s impressive given you didn’t grow up in a time when it was more popular.
Los: It kept a lot of people out of trouble, too. What happened was people formed dance groups, and it's something that I think died out a little bit. I think its something people need to re-visit, because it's fun and it's a break from everything that's going on and you just get to dance. It kept a lot of people out of trouble, and when kids where doing that as opposed to other things, it was a much better time. When the kids were focused on forming dance groups, when that was being promoted, it was a better time.
AllHipHop.com: People might pop a move on each other instead of fighting, huh?
Los: Yeah, well, it was a ton of that going on, but really hardcore people were dancing. Like hardcore dudes you would see and respect in the streets, you would see them dancing in the club, and they were still respected. It was crews, it was real. You had the Horsemen, The Almighty Mickeys, the Park Heights crew. They had their own dance called the Park Heights Strut. It was the coolest sort of Diddy-bop type thing that you could do. It was really going down. It was a big part of growing up as a teenager.
AllHipHop.com: That’s great man. So more about your music, man. What’s up with your mixtape?
Los: I just dropped The Crown Ain't Safe, I'm 'bout to drop the "King Los" video, and I’m working on the new Bad Boy mixtape. I've been working with Justice League, one of the more elite production teams, from "Aston Martin" music to work with Jeezy and Ross. They are just incredible, so I worked with them. Just look forward to greatness, man. I'm under Puff wing, and I'm just a young billionaire in training.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, that's dope. What's the number one piece of advice that Diddy gave you that you will hold on to throughout your career?
Los: To be honest, it's just he's a very straight forward person, and it's always stuff that's basic and stuff that we would normally overlook. It's not really some technical or intricate thing; it's just like, "Yo, yo just relax." You know? He'll tell you something like that, where you won't even think or know that you're hype like, "Just relax, take your time, it's ok." He says things like that, and it just takes you back to functioning properly and then you're like, "Ok, ok, ok, I'm back." He's just a great coach. Of course, he has a tremendous amount of knowledge and wisdom in this game, as well as in life, and I think that he's mastered the art of Black excellence, and the hustle. So it's like, why would you not listen to anything that he has to say?
Follow Los on Twitter (@IAmKingLos).