Image Credit: TSL
Music mogul, media maven, iconic brand builder, and all-around entertainment beast Sean “P.Diddy” Combs turns 50 today and he’s still got that hustler’s spirit, a pep in his step, a broke niggaz hunger and the desire to motivate and outwork everybody — even his own family.
He was the Harlem son of a street hustler who was killed in a drug deal gone wrong when Combs was a toddler. It didn’t take long for the young Sean Combs to see that the street life wasn’t for him. He turned his father’s tragedy into a fairy tale success story for himself.
Diddy attended the HBCU Howard University which helped cultivate his business acumen and provided the foundation, confidence and testing ground for huge things to come.
Via The Post, June 2017: Combs committed to a career in music. Not only did he re-establish the East Coast as the center of hip-hop, Combs took the music and the lifestyle into mainstream culture. He reveled in a glitzy, showy, almost Trumplike image gilded cars and Champagne bottle service that made him the unofficial King of New York in the 1990s and early 2000s. When you rolled with Puff, it was like you had the key to the city, says Quinnes Q Parker from the R&B group 112.
Diddy didn’t stop at music. The Bad Boy label and all of the triumphs and tragedies associated with the game was just a springboard to new heights. The New Yorker (aka Puff Daddy, aka Puffy, P. Diddy, Diddy) is worth around $820 million thanks to his successes in fashion, movies, TV, liquor branding and, of course, music and as far as Black Americans are concerned, he is on the same level as Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama when discussing his influence on black culture. Even pop culture.
He’s been a mainstay on Forbes’ highest-paid entertainers list and in 2017 he showed everyone that he still “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” as he was once again crowned the highest-paid artist of the year, with Beyonce, Drake, The Weeknd and Coldplay trailing behind.
Between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017 Diddy earned a plush $130 million, stemming from his hotly-anticipated Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour as well as his business endeavors including his liquor brand Ciroc and selling a stake of his brand Sean John.
Diddy continues to get the bag at an impressive rate. Diddy ranked 4th behind Kanye, Jigga and Drake (No. 4, $70 million) on Forbes’ “Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Acts of 2019”, raking in the bulk of his bucks from his lucrative deal with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka.
Diddy’s most ambitious venture is The Four, which replaced American Idol as FOX’s go-to music competition franchise. After two seasons, the fans are begging for a third. Diddy described it as only he can, comparing it to Game of Thrones, and making it clear that his show will not be anything like other shows and the street essence that birthed his journey would remain important.
“You get to challenge, and if you want to chop somebody’s head off, you have that power. Not literally, you know, figuratively, “Combs told the Television Critics Association.
Combs serves as a judge on the show along with fellow musicians Meghan Trainor and DJ Khaled, along with record executive Charlie Walk, with Fergie serving as the host.
What’s next for Music and Entertainment Great Gatsby? You never know because Diddy has been staying a step ahead of the game for a quarter of a century now.
Let’s not forget his leadership in politics and how his relationships and relevance within the industry inspired other artists to support his Vote or Die campaigns, consequently inspiring thousands of people to get out and vote. These efforts as well as his, get-out-the-youth-vote slogan from the 2004 election set the stage for and helped Barack Obama eventually become the first African-American to seize the Presidency.
He has his sons and daughters now branding themselves and building their own legacies.
The death of Kim Porter rocked his world and made him reflect on life and attack it with a healthier, newer vigor. It provided the inspiration he needed to step his all-around game up to an even higher plateau and focus on the legacy they built together.
At age 50, Diddy is as young and vibrant as he’s ever been. One of the most influential tastemakers, culture-shapers, outdated policy breakers, party innovators and musical masterminds of our time deserves major props and reflection on his 50th Birthday.