Representing Hip-Hop in matured fashion, Diddy is the latest icon to take over the cover of Variety. The music business icon dropped insight about black-owned businesses, Harlem’s gentrification, and the future of Revolt TV.
With Black culture being a dominant force in American entertainment, Diddy is one of the main minds in the music industry who own the reach to ponder about the financial status of the collective. In his interview with Variety, the famed CEO speaks on the habitual act record labels play, praying on the Black art form with strictly commercial intent, but refusing to invest in the curators themselves. “You have these record companies that are making so much money off our culture, our art form, but they’re not investing or even believing in us,” said Diddy.
He went on to elaborate on how most major record companies constantly seek to hire individuals from overseas for upper-crust positions instead of hiring or promoting the same Black man or woman who has a proven track record of bringing in revenue. “For all the billions of dollars that these black executives have been able to make them, [there’s still hesitation] to put them in the top-level positions. They’ll go and they’ll recruit cats from overseas,” Diddy explains. Overall, he is on a mission to one day see a Black record label CEO.
With over 20 years of experience in steady business, the Bad Boy maker owns knowledge about the importance in Blacks having access to resources. “You can’t do anything without that money, without resources. But when we do get the resources, we over-deliver. When Adidas invests in Kanye and it’s done properly, you have the right results. When Live Nation invests in artists and puts them in arenas the same way U2 would be, you have the right results.”
Touching base of the subject of his hometown of Harlem, New York, it was impossible for the former Doug E. Fresh dancer to bypass the blatant presence of gentrification. He recalls the modernized Harlem experience not being as potent as it once righteously was. “When I go back to New York, the energy doesn’t feel the same — the nightlife, the excitement, the provocativeness. In Harlem you still feel that, even though the community has gotten displaced and shrunk. Like, where are the black people at?” Breaking down the cultural touches of Harlem, Diddy slates people of the community as being “natural born hustlers.” He continued, “You’re empowered by knowing your history. You can envision Malcolm X speaking on 125th, the ’20s at the Cotton Club, Langston Hughes, Harry Belafonte, Lorraine Hansberry. … There was such a deep sense of culture.”
When it comes to Revolt TV, the mogul describes the brand as being greater than a television network. Its directive is that of a multiplatform, to which the goal is to become to the sole provider of premium content, with a Black objective. Diddy is not concerned about the craft of music, necessarily, at this time. He revealed his main focus to be on Revolt and acquiring the proper executive and creative talent to take the brand to the next level. “It’s about me going to a new level and empowering the next generations of Bad Boy and Diddy.”