Sean "Diddy" Combs has been many things to many people. He's a father to two boys and a pair of twin girls in his girlfriend's belly. He's an entertainer. Businessman. Producer. Fashion icon. Activist. Diddy puts on all his hats and talks to AllHipHop.com in part two of Sean "Diddy" Combs: Things Done Changed.
AllHipHop.com: You don't have any other Bad Boy acts on this album. Why not?
Diddy: I didn't go at this album like the CEO of Bad Boy. I went at
this album as an artist. I been there and I did that. To be honest, a
lot of these songs were to the level that it needed artists who were more experienced.
A lot of the artists I have now are very young. If you listen to the
lyrical content, and the sophistication of the records, it had to be cats there were really in here,
really doing this thing on a daily basis. I didn't want to put my artists in a position
where they had to force something. This is like the all-stars of
all-stars on this thing here. From the producers to the artists. As an
artist, I just wanted to make the right decision.
AllHipHop.com: I can appreciate the album from a number of
perspectives. You have the Kanye joint, which is crazy, the 80s
Prince-like song, and other stuff. And, above all, its a seamless
album with no breaks
Diddy: That was one of the hardest things to do. I wanted to show an
evolution of the sound. So, when you make that turn and I bring you to
the brand new sound that has a more electronica, 80s funk, live type
of Hip-Hop sound, I had to do it very carefully. I had to do it with
emotions. On "Special Feeling", I had used the kick-n-snare that was
made famous by Prince, but everybody else that's Black knows that it
came from [the sounds in] church. That when they giving out the
offering [in church], so I told them to that emotional [place] and I
kept riding out from there.
AllHipHop.com: We see your kids more prominent in things, a lot of
your oldest son Justin. Are you training him to succeed you in the
Diddy: My youngest son, he wants to be a rap artist. Justin, he wants
to be in sports and things like that. Most importantly, whatever they
want to do, [they can do it]. They don't have any pressure to be in
the music industry.
AllHipHop.com: Do you ever feel the need to isolate your kids from
the evils of the game or business?
Diddy: No, they up on everything. My kids ask me, "Yo Dad, what's up
with you and 50? What's good? What's really good?" I gotta answer all types of
questions [like], "I seen you doing this. What's this about?" It even
keeps me on point to watch what I say and helps me with my decisions.
It also lets you know how big we are. We are their leaders, not just
my kids, but all kids. 50's son was probably asking the same thing, "What's
really good? I thought that was Uncle Puff, what's up?" It just get
to a point, we all that's in the game, it done got bigger than us. It got way bigger than just us. We gotta be
laying down the foundation for everybody to come after us.
AllHipHop.com: You're having twin girls. Did you buy a shotgun for future use?
Diddy: [Laughs] Nah, I'm just praying for a healthy delivery. I'm just
in shock about being able to have twins, its an amazing thing.
AllHipHop.com: At one point, you did Citizen Change and you seemed to
dive into the political arena. What went right for you and what went
Diddy: With Citizen Change, it went way better than I expected. You
got to understand young people, Black people, me - we had decided
we're not going to vote at all. That t-shirt [Vote or Die] that people
make a joke about, it engaged people. Its a slogan that will go down
in history. Do you know how hard it is to get something politically
relevant out there? And the statistics that they try to hold back of
18 - 35, the increased voting was tremendous and far beyond what they
thought it would be. The sad part about it is, the slogan was the
truth. A lot of people ain't vote, and a lot of people are dying. It
holds more relevance now and its going to hold more relevance in the
AllHipHop.com: Do you plan to do Citizen Change going forward?
Diddy: Yes. Citizen Change is something that we will be doing going
forward to the presidential election.
AllHipHop.com: On the album, you rap about being the first Black
president. Do you have any real aspirations to be do that?
Diddy: No, I have no aspirations to be a politician. I'd rather stay in
the lines of being a revolutionary. You know, supporting the
revolution in my way. Its just that when you go to school and they ask
you want you want to be, there are only two people [to choose from].
It just, I want to be this, I want to be that. But we all have
potential. Its just the potential.
AllHipHop.com: What's on deck in the business world?
Diddy: We got a women's line of [Sean John] that's about to drop. But
Its just about focusing in on my foundation, which is music. I'm going
to be one the road and touring and showcasing it to everybody.
AllHipHop.com: Is the "Making The Band" phenomenon a new way of A&Ring albums now, or mostly for TV?
Diddy: The way you see it on TV, that's the way it is at Daddy's House
[Bad Boy's studio]. They ain't gotta go get cheesecake or nothing.
Some of that is for TV. The way we are in the studio and being hard on
our artists, and hard on myself is the way it is at Daddy's House. And
that's the reason why we've been able to be around. We're the last
ones standing. We take pride in that. We ain't never close our doors.
We the last ones that haven't sold our way into the system. Not saying
that we won't one day, because that's another misconception. People
don't know when to flip their company. To go all that we've been
through, to take all our knocks and bruise to have one of our best
years...and we're still here, its a true testament.
AllHipHop.com: The 10th Anniversary of Biggie's death is coming up. Do
you have any plans?
Diddy: We're working on plans now; we're working on something very special.
AllHipHop.com: How important has the internet been in promoting your album?
Diddy: One thing I did differently this time around was utilizing the
internet to have direct contact with the fans. I think we've had a
huge impact of people seeing a different side of me. They see a
serious side, and its important to be able to speak to kids directly.