Sean Combs calls out industry's lack of black execs, investment in black enterprise in 'Variety'
In new cover interview with ‘Variety,’ the mogul gets candid.
REVOLT TV Chairman Sean “Diddy” Combs graces the cover of Variety‘s latest issue. Headlined as a “culture warrior” by the magazine, the mogul not only slams the industry’s lack of investment in black businesses (despite capitalizing off its culture), but also discusses his Harlem roots, gentrification, Black Wall Street, Black Panther, the impact of Sean John, his talent for curating, and the future of REVOLT. Read the full interview at Variety.
ON THE INDUSTRY’S LACK OF INVESTMENT IN BLACK ENTERPRISE: “You have these record companies that are making so much money off our culture, our art form, but they’re not investing or even believing in us. For all the billions of dollars that these black executives have been able to make them, [there’s still hesitation] to put them in the top-level positions. They’ll go and they’ll recruit cats from overseas. It makes sense to give [executives of color] a chance and embrace the evolution, instead of it being that we can only make it to president, senior VP. … There’s no black CEO of a major record company. That’s just as bad as the fact that there are no [black] majority owners in the NFL. That’s what really motivates me.”
ON SEAN JOHN: “With fashion, to be candid, I was looking for validation. And Sean John gave birth to a lot. Sean John taught Virgil [Abloh]. It taught Kanye West. It taught a whole generation of designers that come from our culture. But also Gucci learned from it, Louis Vuitton learned from it, Givenchy, Balenciaga. So much of fashion is streetwear now, and the tipping point was Sean John. … I was the first to bring street wear to the runways, and now street wear [is] a multibillion-dollar industry where people are actually looking for the talent that’s coming from the community, giving them the resources, believing in them and benefiting from that.”
ON THE RECEPTION TO LAST TRAIN TO PARIS: “Musically, that was the one that broke my heart, because I knew it was dope. But that’s part of the game. You gotta have those. Throughout your career you should do things that you really, really believe in, and take a chance.”
ON GENTRIFICATION: “Gentrification is heartbreaking. When I go back to New York, the energy doesn’t feel the same — the nightlife, the excitement, the provocativeness. In Harlem you still feel that, even though the community has gotten displaced and shrunk. Like, where are the black people at?”