The Sean “Love” Combs era is well underway, the 51-year-old mogul told Vanity Fair in his cover interview, published on Tuesday (Aug. 3). In his extensive chat with journalist Tressie McMillan Cottom, the Harlem native reflected on closing the door on his past Puff Daddy and Diddy personas and welcoming his new life calling.
“You have the Puff Daddy era. That’s like this young, brash, bold hip hop, unapologetic swagger on a million and just fearlessness and really doing it for the art and rooted; the only thing I know is hip hop,” he said. “I don’t know about changing the world or anything like that as possible.”
“Then after Biggie… after all of that… I wanted to get into other businesses. And so Biggie had called me Diddy because of my bop — the way I walk, my swagger, and they got something called the diddy bop… it was something before me,” he continued. “That’s the diddy bop. It’s the way a brother would walk around, walk down the street.”
The “Love” era that he’s now in, Diddy tells Vanity Fair, includes a five-year plan of new initiatives, one of which is his newly launched Excellence Program aimed at supporting young entertainment executives.
“[The ‘Love’ era is about] my people taking time to feel like it’s all right to love,” he explained. “Take time to huddle up your tribe, take time to communicate and know your power. Take time to heal. You know what I’m saying? [Taking care of] yourself without feeling like, oh, you’re going to be labeled a racist now because you talk about taking care of yourself.”
Toward the end of the chat, Diddy also teased his next endeavor: a new R&B-focused record label.
“… [An] all-R&B label because I feel like R&B was abandoned and it’s a part of our African American culture. And I’m not signing any artists. Because if you know better, you do better,” he said. “I’m doing 50–50 partnerships with pure transparency. That’s the thing. [The new label is so that] we can own the genre. We don’t own hip hop right now. We have a chance to — and I’m going to make sure that — we own R&B.”
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