After taking the Today show stage Friday morning to kick off its summer concert series, Puff Daddy & the Family will head across the East River to perform at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for the first of the Bad Boy Reunion Tour gigs. “We’re like the circus coming to town,” Daddy told EW after his performance on Today. “We’re the greatest show on earth, baby.”
The reunion concerts stemmed from his noteworthy performance with other Bad Boy Records figures at last June’s BET Awards. “We did a trial run at BET,” he said. “We celebrated our 20 years and when I fell through that hole on BET my lightbulb went off. When I put my superhero powers and jumped up and landed back on stage flawlessly I was like, ‘We need to take this show on the road! This thing is suspenseful!’”
That tour initially manifested itself as two gigs at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, slated for May 20 and 21 and sporting a lineup consisting of Daddy, Jay Z, Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, Lil’ Kim, Mase, French Montana, Total, 112, and Mario Winans. (Bad Boy Records legend the Notorious B.I.G. would’ve turned 44 on the first of the dates.) But the gigs sold out in minutes, confirming that widespread demand for reunion shows existed.
“The reunion came together because it was just so needed,” Mase told EW. “When you think about hip-hop and music in general, it’s just time to have that good celebration of music. Being with a guy like Puff that’s such a visionary, getting everybody together was an easy task.”
A modified version of the Brooklyn lineup — sans Jay Z and Mary J. Blige, but with the Lox and Carl Thomas — will hit the road for 25 dates beginning Aug. 25 in Columbus, Ohio and wrapping Oct. 8 in Oakland, California. “It’s a very modern show,” said Puff Daddy, who has said he’ll retire from music after releasing his next album No Way Out 2. “It mixes the past, present, and the future. And when you leave there, you’re gonna leave there saying, ‘That was one of the best times I ever had.’ Because we’re not up there to shine, we’re up there to serve the people and the crowd.”