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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puffy: Literally a Bad Boy
Did you ever want to know what it's like rolling with Diddy and being a part of the world-famous Bad Boy Records? Mark Curry gives you his experience with the mogul in Dancing With The Devil: How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of HipHop. Curry fans away the smoke and dismantles the mirrors with his debut release as an author. What you will find is the good, the bad and gritty...
Published on April 14, 2009 by Joey D. Pinkney

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A true eye opener...
A long time fan of Bad Boy and the artists I was intrigued to read what Mr. Curry had to say. Wow a real eye opener. I often wondered what happened to Carl Thomas and so many Bad Boy artists and now I know. So very sad, disgraceful, and disappointing. I hope their talent gets recognized and they are all able to reach the top where they all belong. Thanks Mark, and many...
Published 15 months ago by Shay Johnson


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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puffy: Literally a Bad Boy, April 14, 2009
Did you ever want to know what it's like rolling with Diddy and being a part of the world-famous Bad Boy Records? Mark Curry gives you his experience with the mogul in Dancing With The Devil: How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of HipHop. Curry fans away the smoke and dismantles the mirrors with his debut release as an author. What you will find is the good, the bad and gritty lifestyle that Diddy provides to those artists unfortunate to get caught up in the Bad Boy empire.

If you grew up listening to HipHop during the Bad Boy era, Dancing With The Devil will give you an intriguing history of rap music during that time from a person lived it. Curry's attention to detail and ability to weave his personal experiences and research makes this book easy to read and hard to put down. This is more than an expose from a disgruntled artist. Dancing With the Devil is a journey that separates the fact from the fiction. This book shows you the music industry for what it is -- harsh and cut throat. If you can go online, Google and YouTube will be your best friend as you journey with Mark Curry through the maze of music, murders and mayhem.

Once you finish with this book, you will have taken a trip that few have the heart to speak about. Dancing With The Devil is more than a one-sided account of a wannabe artists mad at the world. You will have a thorough understanding of why artists such as The L.O.X., Faith Evans, 112, Total, etc. are no longer a part of Bad Boy's roster. You will hear those Bad Boy classics in a new light once you gain the understanding of why Diddy added his chatter to songs and his presence to the videos.

You might even feel sorry for current Bad Boy artists such as Danity Kane (or what's left of them), Day 26 and Da Band. The infamous contract signing scenarios take on a new meaning once you are aware of Diddy's history of jerking people with terrible deals. Curry acts more like a journalist than anything else as he sifts through tons of information and personal experiences to show how the music industry can promise you diamonds with intentions of giving you coal.

Curry's Dancing With The Devil can easily be considered Bad Boy Records' version of Fredericks Dannen's The Hit Men.

Joey Pinkney Dot Com
Book Reviewer
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very in-depth..., August 22, 2009
By 
SJ (Houston, TX) - See all my reviews
I really enjoyed this book. This isn't a second hand account. Curry experienced the "Bad Boy Life" first hand, for 10 years. He, like all the other artists, were in dire efforts to achieve their dreams in the music industry. Despite the constant hard work, long nights, time, energy, and money spent striving towards their "big break", they ended up with nothing. Not because of anything lacking on their part, but because of Sean Combs. I don't look at him as a good business man. He's a con artist- plain and simple. And this book is not the only thing that makes me view him that way.

Some of the stories, I have read about, based on facts and other great reads. Curry merely provided further confirmation. Also, there were a lot of stories I had not read about, but I could definitely see them as truth since Puff has a pattern of ways.

The only reason I did not give this book 5 stars is because in the beginning (7 or 8 chapters in), he talks about random events in his life before his deal. He mentioned alot of people that came from nowhere w/ nicknames and I got a bit confused. It almost made me suspicious of whether or not this book was really about Puffy, the con artist. Fast forward to Chapter 8. From that point on, every thing is smooth sailing ahead.

I totally commend and respect Curry for being so truthful and holding his head up through this entire ordeal. From the start of this book, I sense that he has a good heart. His intentions were to do the thing he loved(music), make his parents(now deceased) even more proud, and provide for his wife and son. He's not trying to slander. He's just telling facts. He's giving his life experience when he was with Bad Boy. If these truths paint Puffy as a "bad guy", then so be it. What's true is true. And besides, it's not like we didn't know that already. Think about the plethora of musicians signed to Bad Boy. Where are they? Don't worry, I'll wait.....
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting Read, February 12, 2010
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I finally decided to break down and purchase this book due to Bad Boys still not hiring any of the assistances from his reality show, "I want to work for Diddy." I even read just recently that the chic from the second show is now without job and broke, so that she could appear on the show. It looks like he is making all this money from the reality shows but not actually hiring them in the end. Mic Barber had his own company before the show, so the exposure really worked in his favor. Therefore, I decided to get this book and really see the man behind the myth.

Most things I already knew or suspected about Diddy so I am not surprised. The industry overall is just a snake and a very tough business regardless with what record company you sign with and Bad Boy is no exception. The key is to not be naïve and to have your own lawyers not their lawyer or a recommended lawyer read all of your contracts. I also do know that most record companies will charge and deduct whatever time you spend in studio, video, or any other associated costs, so that is a normal thing in the industry. If there is something such as creativity or other rights you want in the contract that you and your lawyer do not agree with, well you do not sign with the company. I think Mr. Curry was very green to the industry and thought quick money would come, which it does not. I wish the best for him and maybe he should try self-promoting his music as many artists are doing today. That is then when the record company will come looking for you and you can set your own terms.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sorry for what this artist had to endure, June 12, 2012
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This review is from: Dancing With the Devil (How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hip-Hop) (Kindle Edition)
This was an enlightening read. I have been interested in what happened behind the scenes at Bad Boy ever since I read an article in the Village Voice in 2001, called "The 'Bad Boy Curse'" by Peter Noel. The article hinted at the fear and silence that gripped all former and current Bad Boy artists, most of which refused to go on record speaking about their negative experiences with Bad Boy and Puff.

So it is all the more remarkable that Mark Curry puts it all down for the world to read. I actually had no idea how many of the big hits in Bad Boy's repertoire have been penned by Curry and he deserves artistic praise and respect for his accomplishments. To hear that others profited while he remained unrewarded both financially and as far as getting credit goes, is devastating. I really hope he ended up in a good place and ended up getting due recognition for his musical talents and contributions.

The book is a real page-turner and brings the reader up close into the very inner circle of Bad Boy records, right in the heart of the storm of the dramatic events surrounding the death of rap icon, The Notorious B.I.G. To anyone interested in 1990s hip-hop, and anyone with a curiosity about the shady dealings behind the big record labels, this is a suggested read. I have not seen a more detailed account of these events anywhere else before.

One thing I was missing: I was expecting a bit more "evil," as suggested by the title, "Dancing With the Devil." As we all know, there is a lot of crazy speculation in message boards and online videos about evil practices and "Illuminati" rappers these days. But the account remains very down-to-earth and sober, which is probably closest to the truth anyhow.

For someone looking for the spiritual implications of modern hip-hop, I suggest Deadest Rapper Alive: The Rise of Lil' Wayne and the Fall of Urban Youth, a spiritual analysis of Lil Wayne's music and influence on youth culture. I also came across Satan's Rapper, a novel thriller in which a fictitious rap record label actually performs satanic rituals and injects their rap music with mind-control technology to gain dominance over the rap game.

Overall, I would award Dancing With the Devil 3.5 stars, because the Kindle formatting is a bit choppy in some places (chapter breaks and fonts/images). But since there are no half stars on Amazon, I give it 4 stars because it is still a great read suggested to all hip-hop fans and students of popular culture.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puff is a grimey dude...., August 30, 2011
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This review is from: Dancing With the Devil (How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hip-Hop) (Kindle Edition)
Yo, I used to be the biggest Bad Boy dude. BBE used to put out hits consistently. We always used to crack on Diddy though, cause you used to hear his adlibs on EVERYTHING.....and you always heard how puff was jerkin dudes, but you would just brush it off, cause the artists always "appeared" to be doin aaight. You would hear how much they sold and be like, why they so mad son? But then this book totally brings insight to what we all assumed happened and then some. I remember hearin Mark Curry on Bad Boy for Life, and thinkin like, dude is raw, Puff got a ROSTER of cats who could spit. Puff isnt the golden boy we all were lead to believe, and honestly, im through likin homeboy....imho....Puff and Suge got tupac and biggie killed, doin mess against their wishes.....Havin a lil money though, really shows who you truly are. What struck me to the heart was when Big Meech was talking to Puff and said "I got money and everyone around me do, everyone around you is broke." SOO sad....God bless you Mark, glad to see you still movin towards the Lord after its all said and done, hope you and your wife and kids doing aaight, despite everything that happens...."Pray for your enemies, and pray for those who despitefully use you." Thats bible....
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GR8T!, March 26, 2011
By 
Anjelica A. (Gainesville, Fl) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dancing With the Devil (How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hip-Hop) (Kindle Edition)
This was a really good read. It kept my attention and i couldn't put it down. I felt like Mark was having a conversation with me and telling me the story personally. It's crazy how so many people had to go through that all because Puff was so shady and selfish. I found out alot of stuff i didn't know as well...i was never really a puff fan because i could just look at videos and tell he was trying TOO hard...lol now i know why!!!! Thanks Mark!!!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Will Not Put This Book Down Once You Read It, October 12, 2009
This book is definitely a page turner -DEFINITELY!!!! Its just amazing how many times this due fail for the "promises" made by Puff. I placed the word promises in in quotes because I have only heard the authors side of the story. Due is just as responsible as Puff for his own predicament. There are thousands of artists who have experienced this -past and present- and due to the intelligence level of many who are now, they will be many in the future. Homeboy, according his story was messed over so bad, that I feel good that I bought his book, instead of a purchase it is more like a donation to his personal charity. My favorite line if what this dude wrote is true, is what the guy from ATL name Meech told Puff. I won't say it, get the book. This should be a must for all of those who are interested in getting in the music industry.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Behind the Scenes Look at the real "Bad Boy Entertainment", July 12, 2009
By 
Andrea T. Payne "divahwidfevah" (Dix Hills, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This book while not poorly written can be a little confusing at times as it jumps around a lot, especially in the beginning. The story is not written in chronological order and some events may be difficult to follow at first. Overall, the book is a page turner and I wasn't able to put it down. The book gave some very revealing and shocking information that many fans would not have otherwise known about the real Diddy or Puff (or whatever he calls himself these days). The book also verified for me personally several lies, I've seen Puff tell in interviews, especially regarding the death of Biggie.

Mark Curry's naïveté surprised me though. As someone who reportedly hung out with gangsters and thugs long before he crossed paths with Diddy, I couldn't believe he was that naïve to keep giving Diddy chance after chance after chance to release his album and then seemed stunned after learning from a Bad Boy staffer that Diddy never intended to release his album at all. From the accounts that Curry described throughout the book, it was painfully obvious to the reader that Diddy was only using him and stringing him along from the very beginning. It's sad that it took the death of Curry's parents and him losing his home to foreclosure to finally wise up.

I also see that Curry writes this is the book's `first edition.' I would be interested in a follow up version, especially one that would give insight into Farnsworth Bentley's ties to Diddy and how he seems to be the only one who has managed to have an actual successful career after being entangled with Diddy for so many years. I would also like to see if Curry has any takes on the Shakir Stewart suicide, seeing as he revealed Stewart's romantic ties to Kim Porter and how Diddy assaulted him at L.A. Reid's wedding after finding out.

Hopefully, Curry will partner with a better editor and hopefully consider a movie based on his book. A very good summer read and it should be required reading for any one looking to go into the entertainment business.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Page turner, April 13, 2009
The book was a page turner. It was very descriptive when explaining how Puff operated. It was upsetting how a lot of his artist, either left or did not come out with an album. I enjoyed the book because it gave you a peek at how the music world operates. How artist can be taken advantage of if they dont know what they are getting into or signed to the wrong label and influenced by the wrong people.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read Book about Being Burned and Used!, June 24, 2011
By 
Louis Rollins II (Loganville, Georgia) - See all my reviews
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First all I want to say that this is a great book that really gives you the insight look about the Music Industry financial side and how they can rape and rob you of your talent and leave you penniless. Mark Curry stories really gives you a deep inside of look of how you can be talented, gifted and creative with your gift and how many fall for the gimmicks, lies and Luring of these Hip Hop icons. It's my prayer that every that was held up or taken Mark Curry be restored back to him because this brother put in a lot of time and hard work as a writer and contributor to HIP HOP. Mark Curry, your insight will indeed help some think wisely about being an entertainer in the Music industry. Trust me any upcoming rappers need to read this book and THINK

Brotha Rollins
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