Loon has parted ways with Bad Boy and formed his own company, Boss Up Entertainment. The artist has also nearly completed his sophomore album and has signed several acts to Boss Up, which has begun ne
Songwriter/producer Loon has parted ways with Bad Boy and formed his own company, Boss Up Entertainment. The artist has also nearly finished work on his sophomore album, "The Renaissance," and has signed several acts to Boss Up, which has begun negotiating a distribution deal.
Loon spent four years on Bad Boy, appearing on a host of albums and co-writing the biggest hit in the P. Diddy-run label's history, "I Need a Girl Part II." The track spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. His lone studio album for the label, a self-titled set released late last year, debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
"My relationship with [Diddy] from beginning to end was on the up and up," Loon told Billboard.com when he was in Las Vegas last week for the Billboard Music Awards. "I did everything I had to do to help him refurbish the label and bring it back to its present state."
"[But] I've never been able to establish my own identity or other dimensions of myself," he continued. "The smooth stuff is a dimension of myself, but there's so much more that comes with me. I endured the burden of Puff's criminal case [and Bad Boy rapper] Shyne [going to jail] and J. Lo beating us up on the radio. It took a couple of years to get all that out of the way. I was at a fork in the road. I could continue to be in the shadow, or I could take the initiative and be my own man. That's the choice I made."
As for "The Renaissance," Loon declined to reveal potential collaborators apart from Mase, with whom he recently completed a track. "It's definitely me getting more in tune with myself," he said of the album. "Me trying to put out multiple impressions of myself as opposed to just seeing Loon as a lover boy. Don't expect desperation to obtain street credibility, but I do have some street records that will show a different dimension."
"My first album, I had a lot of decent features," he continued. "But I don't want everybody to feel like I need a crutch right now. Loon is going to do a song, hook and all."
Loon has also signed his cousin, R&B/gospel singer Dante Hawkins, to Boss Up, as well as a Russian singer named Luba ("she's going to remind you of a black R&B singer; that strong, sultry sound," he said). "I'm trying to instill the same qualities as a boss in my artists," Loon said. "I give my cousin his own budget and he can give me an album. I don't need to hold his hand."
Loon says he's thrilled to strike out on his own in attempt to "create that balance as a CEO/artist. I'm not trying to save the East Coast. I'm a music lover. I want to build an Arista. I don't want the label name tattooed on my arm."
"I wrote pretty much every chart-topping record or verse that came out of Puff's mouth for the past four years," he concluded. "I think a lot of execs are looking at it like, 'This is the guy I can build a franchise around. He writes records.' I'm not the novelty rapper that just comes out to do a jingle every five years."