There are many respected figures in the hip hop community, but very few who’ve actually paved the way for newcomers to be as great as they choose to be and who are deemed as pioneers because of the influence they’ve had on the culture, as a whole, thanks to their brilliance in the industry. Billboard understand this, which is why the outlet just introduced its inaugural R&B/Hip Hop Power Players Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame’s mission is “to recognize those whose influence over art and commerce is everlasting,” the publication reports. “Our first two honorees have played crucial roles in the evolution of hip hop’s culture, its growth to global domination and its expansion into all aspects of the worlds of business and entertainment.”
That brings us to the first two hip hop heavy-hitters who personify everything that Billboard wants in its Hall of Fame: Sean “Diddy” Combs and “Andre “Dr. Dre” Young.
If you’re a hip hop fan, you definitely know who the one and only Diddy is, and the contributions that he’s made to the culture that make it what it is today. Thanks to his hustler’s spirit, Diddy has reached the stars in his career — and is continuing to reach pass them and into the next galaxy.
With the launch of his Bad Boy label in 1993, the mogul stacked up 70 albums on the Billboard 200 chart, as well as 102 songs on the Hot 100 chart. Diddy has also ventured into other industries to build an empire that consists of beverage, clothing, marketing and TV companies.
From his stake in Ciroc vodka, luxury tequila brand DeLeon, and AQUAhydrate, Diddy is a man who knows no limits in his grind. “In 2016, Combs sold a majority stake in his Sean John clothing line, which he founded in 1999, to Hong Kong-based Global Brands Group, which counts Calvin Klein and Katy Perry among the labels it owns and licenses, for $70 million,” Billboard continues.
And let’s not forget the best cable TV network in all the land, either! In 2013, Diddy saw a need for music programming to come back into prominence and launched REVOLT TV on the stoop of his late dear friend and Bad Boy signee The Notorious B.I.G.’s home in Brooklyn, New York. The network now reaches approximately 50 million homes.
The mogul also served as a panelist on Fox’s “The Four,” and excited music fans everywhere when he announced a few months back that he was rebooting hit TV show “Making The Band” in 2020. When Diddy says, “Can’t stop, won’t stop,” he means it.
As for the second Billboard Hall of Fame honoree, Dr. Dre is a legendary beat-maker whose worked with the likes of N.W.A, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar and so much more in his vast career. Founding his Aftermath label in 1996, he’s stacked 31 albums on the Billboard 200 chart, as well as 124 songs on the Hot 100 chart. He would also co-founded Beats with longtime friend Jimmy Iovine, which would be sold to Apple in 2014 for $3 billion. Dre is also credited for producing the N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton, which scored an Oscar nomination, as well as premiering his documentary titled “The Defiant Ones” on HBO in 2017.
Black excellence. We love to see it.