Diddy may be busy trying to get his oft-delayed Dirty Money project, "Last Train To Paris," off the ground, but that hasn't stopped the ambitious mogul from making other prominent career moves. A source close to the entrepreneur/rapper has confirmed to Billboard.com that Diddy is not only co-managing Lil Wayne protégé Nicki Minaj but also Rick Ross.
Last week, just two days after dropping out of Rihanna's "Last Girl On Earth Tour," Nicki Minaj's former manager, Debbie Antney -- who also managed Gucci Mane and is mother to up-and-coming rapper Waka Flocka Flame -- sent a statement confirming Minaj had fired her.
"I received a letter, which was [a] suspension. The next letter that came in was a cease and desist in doing all business with Nicki Minaj from Nicki's attorney," she explained. "I love Nicki. I wish her the most success. It's not about the music, she's like one of my children... I wish her no harm, only much success."
While hip-hop bloggers have speculated the firing was due to mismanagement on Antney's part which consequently caused Minaj to drop out of the tour, Antney revealed to Billboard.com almost a month ago -- before the tour was announced -- that she no longer was working with Minaj "I'm not gonna sit here and drop a bunch of bombs on her now, even though she really, really disappointed me. Now Nicki did fire me. She did," Antney said.
According to our source, Minaj subsequently went on to seek management from Troy Carter, Lady Gaga's manager. Although some websites claim to have confirmed that Carter is co-managing Minaj with Diddy, our source says it isn't the case. Diddy stepped in, asking one of his own managers, James Cruz, to co-manage Minaj with him instead.
While Diddy's new connection with Nicki Minaj seems to have come out of left field, it comes as no surprise that he is also working closely with Rick Ross. The two have been appearing together often lately, including on the remix to Waka Flocka's "O Lets Do It" track. Diddy has also praised Ross' rapping skills in public as of late, comparing him to the late Notorious B.I.G. "Big shout out to my brother Diddy. We have a big announcement to make real soon, so stay tuned for that," Ross said on the airwaves during an interview with Power 105.1 DJ Envy earlier this week, alluding to an official announcement of the business move coming soon.
The partnership between the two is poised to go a step further as well; Ross is also rumored to be extensively contributing to the writing of Diddy's upcoming album.
Def Jam, Interscope and Universal Motown -- the labels that Ross, Diddy and Minaj are signed to -- could not be reached for comment at press time.