In my 24 years of living, it never crossed my mind that one day P. Diddy would retire from the music industry. But here I am, here we all are, gathered to recognize and pay respect to a man who has been in this game for over three decades. That’s 30 years of dancing, rapping, and discovering.
Just like the remix he boasts about inventing, Puff has remixed himself enough times to survive the many ages and eras. For a young boy like me, someone who was in diapers when Bad Boy Records was just beginning to change hip-hop and R&B, Puffy has always been more than just a music mogul. We wore oversized Sean John while hearing his records on the radio. Kids born in the early '90s watched him in the throwback videos and in the modern ones, shimmying like there was no tomorrow. We wore his cologne in high school, watched him make bands on MTV between doing homework, followed his words when it was time to vote for President, we even bought his overpriced liquor to celebrate turning 21. A friend would always say, “We only drink liquor the color of our skin,” but we always made an exception for Ciroc - we always made an exception for Diddy.
"I'm going to put out my last album and devote 100 percent of my time to doing films … I want to stop at a great place," the 46-year-old. "And a final album is a great place to stop. I want to take a victory lap, to do a world tour and really enjoy it once last time." - People Magazine, 2016
It was the music that opened up doors for the endeavors that came later. There’s no denying that he conquered the game with charisma, passion, and hustle. I’m convinced he wanted success more than air in his lungs. That drive to be a master of the universe is what I’ll remember about how Sean Combs took over the music industry. He had the ear for talent and the genius to take a singer or rapper and turn them into a superstar. He knew about marketing, the importance of style, and how to make music that could appeal to the masses. This is how he was able to survive the 90’s, change with the guards during the dawn of a new century, and still walk with the modern day giants. There were a few slips, a couple of stumbles, but Puffy never fell. He was always there, always dancing.
Diddy recently said in an interview that he wanted to "stop at a great place." That his next album, No Way Out 2, will be his grand finale. I just can’t believe that such a fiery soul, one that has never shown any fatigue, could be ready for his last run around the musical track. Last year he was just dancing at the B.E.T Awards like he had 100 years left in him.
I guess we all get old, I commend him for knowing when to bow out gracefully instead of ruining such an extensive legacy of excellence. The next generation will watch his old videos on RevoltTV, hear his old music through their streaming services. You can’t walk through hip-hop’s history and not see all that Puffy has done and accomplished. He may step away from music to focus on the big screen, but three more decades can pass and we’ll still be applauding him for all the blood, sweat, and tears he poured into this business. A true mastermind that came from nothing and achieved everything. He introduced legends, brought us classics, delivered unforgettable rants and most of all, he was a damn good hustler who did it his way. There will never be another.
So let's raise our Ciroc glasses and give one final toast to the mogul who couldn’t stop, who wouldn’t stop, and will never stop. Until his very last breath, best believe it’s Bad Boy baby.
By Yoh, aka Yoh Diddy, aka @Yoh31.