* indicates required
Okayplayer News

To continue reading

Create a free account or sign in to unlock more free articles.

By continuing, you agree to the Terms of Service and acknowledge our Privacy Policy

Throwback Thursday: Marcus Logan Remembers That Time Biggie & Tupac's Mothers 1st Met + BTS Of The 'No Way Out' Tour w/ Busta Rhymes

Biggie Smalls would have been 43 today (happy birthday B.I.G.!). His fellow golden ager Busta Rhymes celebrated his birthday bashment yesterday (happy belated Buss!). So it must have been some sort of harmonic convergence that scarcely a week ago our close personal peoples Marcus Logan shared not one but two amazing stories that shed new light on these amazing artists and their legacy, giving us the candid glimpse that only an industry insider war story can--in classic throwback thursday fashion.

Marcus, in case you've never encountered Mr. Logan, is something of a vet himself. If you want to be 3rd in line (behind Questlove, Q-Tip and Salaam Remi) to get up on a new group like Hiatus Kaiyote, Marcus is the type of cat you need to know. Want to know what's hitting Paris, Berlin or Jozi? Call Marcus. Having worked with everyone from Pharrell to Puffdaddy, he's picked up more than his share of great stories and today he shares with us an intimate glimpse of the very first time Violetta Wallace and Afeni Shakur laid eyes on one another, as well as Busta's mentorship behind the scenes of '97s No Way Out tour. Read on to get both stories...and happy Throwback Thursday!

In 1999 Jeff Burroughs--then GM of Bad Boy Entertainment--and I flew to Sweden, Berlin, London & Paris to promote "Born Again"; Notorious B.I.G.'s 1st posthumous album with B.I.G's mom, Violetta Wallace. It was in Sweden that we told Ms. Wallace the "Born Again" album went #1 on the Billboard charts. She cried knowing and seeing how much love her son had received throughout the world. Upon our return to the U.S., we attended the 1999 MTV Awards at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. Ms. Wallace and I walked together outside to go backstage. It was her 1st time in LA since her son passed away and the emotions ran deep. Upon entry, we encountered two people walking towards us in the semi-darkness. A man and woman quickly emerged, approaching us. The woman, upon a closer look, was Afeni Shakur...2Pac's mom. The two women stopped in their tracks and just looked at each other for 10 to 15 seconds. It was the first time they ever met. They shared a moment only a mother who lost a son knows. They hugged and cried then shared a private conversation. Upon completion of the talk, they walked together with their arms locked, up the stairway leading to the backstage entrance. They were greeted by the mob of paparazzi lined up flashing their cameras at the host of celebrities. Lauryn Hill then encountered the two and once again shared a brief moment, they all took a picture together before both Ms. Wallace & Ms. Shakur walked on stage as sisters, mothers and strong black women to present an MTV Award for Best Rap Video. Amazing moment I will never forget.

Back even further, in the winter of 1997, I entered my first executive tenure as a product manager with the illustrious label of Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs and Bad Boy Entertainment. As product manager my assignment was to manage the entire schedule of press junkets for the No Way Out tour. The label was red hot with Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death, Ma$e - Harlem World and Puff Daddy & the Family - No Way Out, all at the peak of their multi-platinum success. I was sent to Worcester, Massachusetts and my goal was to get backstage, find Bill Reeves the Tour manager and Benny Medina, Puff’s manager, then introduce myself to Puff.

I arrive at the arena to be greeted by Mr. Reeves, who kindly introduced me to Mr. Medina. In that first meeting, they both show enthusiasm for my new position and laugh to one another about the trial period I am about to go through. After receiving my backstage all-access badge, I am shown my way to Puff’s dressing room. I am greeted by two hulking security guards named Big Roy AKA “Killa” & Big Bob with another flanking the side named Billy Evans, an older gentleman from the West Coast. They alert Puff that I am waiting and after a 5-10 minute wait I am allowed to enter. The dressing room was all white. White sofas, white love seats, white chairs, white curtains, white everything. That shit looked like heaven...

There was a spread of food everywhere from grilled chicken to mixed veggies. Friends and family alongside some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen filled the air with the excitement building for the show. Jennifer Lopez, Faith Evans and Usher were casually hanging around laughing and talking with everyone in the room. It was surreal. Mase, the Lox & Lil Cease are playing a dice game of cee-lo and the vibe was simply beautiful.

Nervously I introduced myself to everyone as I waited for Puff, who suddenly enters the room. I respectfully say hello and Puff just stares at me. I give him the rundown of my directives, given me by Bad Boy GM Jeff Burroughs with the belief that I am doing everything exactly as I am supposed to. Puff continues to stare at me with a blank, emotionless gaze, then says “Don’t fuck my shit up” and tells me to leave. I shit on myself in my mind, asking what just happened?

I immediately call Jeff and tell him the story & he laughs then says, if you need anything just let him know. Comforted by the word of assurance I go on my way to prepare for the next day by introducing myself to as many artists and managers as I can. I see Lil Kim & Cease; Carl Thomas; Kelly Price, Foxy Brown, Usher, Ma$e....a virtual who’s who in the world of hip-hop and r&b. I tell them my objectives and surprisingly they all give me a word of cooperation. If only it were so simple. Lastly, I run into Jay Z and Dame Dash. I nervously stop in front of both and and give them my pitch for arranging meet & greets. Jay Z looks at me similar to Puff but his stare suggests that he wants to smack the shit out of me, just for not knowing who I was. Dame laughs as they both ignore me and walk past. In the background I hear “NARC!”

ME? A NARC?! But I’m from Brooklyn, I say to myself--Crown Heights. I have never even talked to a police officer ever short of the little league PAL baseball team I played for. Embarrassed, I am stopped in my tracks until Busta Rhymes, who witnessed the whole the situation, comes to me and says:

“Look man, I see how you have been moving since you arrived. Don’t take anything personal. Everyone here has their own world they live and it has nothing to do with you. Be persistent, ask for help when you need it and most of all stay professional.”

Busta then walks me to each artist and introduces me formally. After that day everything moved the way I needed it to move. I was so persistent with Ma$e and the Lox in fact that they began to call me “Hound Dog” for always seeking a way to find them when it cam time for press interviews. Over time the jokes became grudging respect and after a month Puff crosses my path and says: “you’re doing an amazing job. If you need anything just ask and I will have it taken care of for you.”

I felt like a GOD from that day on. The tour was a pinnacle moment in my own career and an unforgettable moment in hip- hop history. In total over 50 cities were toured and the reception was overwhelmingly positive, city for city and state by state. Puff reset the precedent for hip-hop tours in the '90s. In light of a few negative experiences that marred the culture of hip-hop it was Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs who let the world know that this music can be a positive experience and a collection of top-tier superstars can share the stage together in harmony and in the spirit of HIP-HOP. Overall I have only great words to share about Sean Combs & the time I spent at Bad Boy (1997-2002). Sean Combs is a rare breed and having had the opportunity to work with him was a blessing. It was and is truly a family that he created and I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with everyone who I crossed paths with. My name is Marcus Logan and although I may not say it I am truly a Bad Boy 4 Life!