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"We have some of the keenest, smartest, most intelligent, on-point young moguls in the industry. Rock and pop don’t have nearly as many as we do."
——P. Diddy
DOO-WAH DIDDY
Sean Combs Keeps It All In The Family
The "Saga Continues," indeed.

Sean Combs’ third Bad Boy/Arista album, "P. Diddy and the Bad Boy Family… The Saga Continues" just debuted at #2 on the charts. The record began as a compilation of label artists such as Faith Evans, 112, Carl Thomas, Black Rob and G-Dep as well as newcomers Mark Curry, MC Kaine, the Hoodfellaz and Cheri Dennis, only to evolve into a P. Diddy record, with Combs himself producing 10 of the 17 tracks.


The initial single, "Bad Boy 4 Life," represents a step in a new direction for the beleaguered hip-hop hyphenate, a celebration of his label’s 10-year anniversary that is representative of the "clean, fun, party" album that tries to counteract the last 18 months of misery.


These days, Sean, Puffy, Puff Daddy and P. Diddy are all grateful to be back at work. The now-31-year-old is one of the most successful executives in the music industry, with Forbes magazine estimating his net worth at $250 million. Combs’ first two albums have sold 6.5 million, his Sean John clothing company has gone from zero to $100 million in two years and his Bad Boy label is once more breaking hit acts like Dream and 112. He also owns a pair of successful restaurants in Manhattan and Atlanta. Finally, Puffy has his first starring film role in Jon ("Swingers") Favreau’s comedy "Made," which opened last Friday (7/13). His detractors fail to mention Daddy’s House, the charity he founded for disadvantaged kids, which will be the recipient of proceeds from a gospel record Bad Boy’s releasing in August, called "Thank You."


Still, there are currently allegations of income tax fraud, weapons violations and an ongoing investigation in Atlanta over the murder of a Death Row Records executive. But even with long-time nemesis Suge Knight’s release from jail next month, P. Diddy maintains his cool.

Oh yeah, and trys to blow some smoke up the gaping nostrils of HITS’ own hamishe hebe-hopper, Roy "Diddies His Own P" Trakin. For the full story click here.

On the Hip-Hop Summit:
That was a real learning experience for me. It brought together all the leaders in hip-hop, from the artists to the executives, to share ideas and experiences. You can’t really know where you’re going in life as a person, let alone a culture or community, if you don’t take the time to sit back, evaluate and analyze the successes and the mistakes. To try to figure out how to learn from them and move forward by setting goals and agendas for yourself. One of the positives was, we got together and talked things out. It wasn’t about cleaning up rap. It was about understanding the power that we have. And making sure we know how to best use that power by being responsible. If we’re expressing our own feelings, and some of those feelings are hard-core or adult-type of feelings, we need to let the kids know that, from a marketing standpoint. Beyond that, we need to stimulate one another’s minds to be leaders and not followers. Everybody should do their own thing and keep adding to the creative melting pot of hip-hop. It was a celebration of how far we’ve come as the fastest-growing entertainment industry out there. Look how many black-owned labels and production companies there are compared to 10 years ago. There are hundreds of young, black millionaires employing thousands of young, black kids, becoming heroes in the inner city and giving kids something to strive for. That is a major accomplishment. Beyond that, we have some of the keenest, smartest, most intelligent, on-point young moguls in the industry. Rock and pop don’t have nearly as many as we do.

On the evolution of the album:
The plan was to take separate records that each artist had already started for their own albums. With me on trial, we needed to put some releases together. I needed to pay the rent, so we had to put out something new for the summer. When I took my break, I went into the studio and everybody came down to see me in Miami, where I was recording. And they were going, "Nah. Forget that. We ain’t seen you in a year-and-a-half. We’re gonna come where you at. And be ready to work." So the first person showed up and sang on a chorus of a joint I was doing. We didn’t know what it would be for until we realized we had an album done. My A&R guy said, "Forget this. We ain’t gonna put out no compilation. They’re ready for you right now, Diddy. Ain’t nobody making them dance like this." Everybody came down to hang out with me and jumped on it. There wasn’t a plan. It was an organic thing. Once we had a coupla joints and started dancing, a light bulb went off in everybody’s heads, like, "We can do this damn thing." I’m not a person who gives up. I put out "Forever," and I wasn’t completely happy with the way that turned out. So I wanted to see what else I could come up with.

On having something to prove or not with this album:
I’m not selling myself nor this record. Even when I played the record for you, I didn’t hype it; I’m not bopping my head extra hard. I’m not feeling stressed. Just listen to it and enjoy it for what it is—some hot records. I’m not on a mission to come in #1 first week. I’m not doing a five-month set-up. I’m throwing it out there; whatever happens, happens. I ain’t got nothing to lose.

 

HITS LIST IS
IN THE MAIL
A not-so-subtle reminder to fill out that ballot. (10/15a)
NEAR TRUTHS: THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
The lives behind live music. (10/14a)
HARVEY MASON JR.:
THE HITS INTERVIEW
The Grammy chief takes our call. (10/14a)
RAINMAKERS 2020: COMING SOON
It will rain again this fall--we guarantee it. (10/13a)
STEVIE WONDER PARTNERS WITH REPUBLIC
First music in 15 years. (10/14a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
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