If you wanted to, you could mark the periods in hip-hop as pre-Diddy and post-Diddy, because the impact he had on the genre is undeniable. But some said his influence was for rap’s betterment, while others said the opposite.
On Tuesday (Feb. 27), the Bad Boy founder took to Instagram and said although he loves that so many people are pursuing their passion, there’re just far too many rappers.
“So many people rapping right now. I love it,” he stated. “It is like literally too much. It’s a lot to take in everyday. Everybody saying the same sh– in like different ways. It’s just my opinion. I’m not knocking nobody’s dream. I just don’t want the culture to get diluted, where it gets so mass-produced it doesn’t mean anything.”
“Artists have to be special,” Diddy added. “Every artists has to be unique in their own right. I guess I’m just trying to say if you’re going to be in this game be great, because you can also be part of the noise. For all you young and aspiring rappers out there and R&B artists and singers and dancers, keep doing your thing and be special.”
Diddy’s history with hip-hop is complicated. He’s credited with helping commercialize the genre but his methods have been heavily criticized.
It was Diddy who created hip-hop’s “Shiny Suit Era,” when artists like Ma$e and The Lox wore colorful, glittery outfits. He also became known for sampling.
As many rap fans probably know, the art of finding obscure records to sample from — otherwise known as digging in the crates — was established by groups like De La Soul. So at best many called Combs’s sampling methods unimaginative, at worse straight up wack.
Yasiin Bey, who was Mos Def at the time, is a perfect example. On Black Star’s 1998 “Children Story,” he seemed to criticize the label owner for his simplistic producing approach.
“Me and you kid we gonna make some cash / Jacking old beats and making the dash / They jacked the beats, money came with ease / But son couldn’t stop it’s like he had a disease / He jacked another and another, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder / Set some R&B over the track “Deep Cover,” spit Bey.
Bey later told Diddy the lyrics were not directed at him personally but at everything happening in the business.
While Diddy helped to bring in new fans to hip-hop and opened up the marketplace so everyone could make more money, accusations of him watering the genre by other artists persisted.
Joe Budden called Diddy by name in his 2008 song ‘Who Killed Hip-Hop?’ where he asked if the Bad Boy founder inspired future artists to be less creative.
“Did it start when Puff took advantage of the sample? / Is it all watered down with no fire?/ If you had enough money you can buy a ghostwriter,” he rhymed.
Either way, Diddy’s post sparked all kinds of messages, and many agreed with his message.
“I concur,” one person tweeted. “We are way too over saturated with noisey rap. This is why Cole, Kendrick, Ab-Soul, Chance, Tyler, Nipsey, Logic, etc.. stand out amongst the crowd. They each offer a uniqueness that we find refreshing. They are all different in their own right. Extreme talent”
“Thanks Diddy,” tweeted another. “I’m working on my son now to be a free thinker, no trends.”
You can see some other reactions to Puffy’s post below.
My 11 year old twins don’t like todays rap and told me 90’s rap is the best. They say today’s rap has no message and they just say the same thing over and over.
— Janee Cifuentes (@WonderWoman3Way) February 28, 2018
Some of today’s artists need to bring back substance. They are great in their own way, but give us something to relate to. A story behind the reason you put in that work. Not saying, don’t step out of the norm. Just, do not allow the music to fade away because there’s no content.
— Arthur Thomas (@SilkyWaters) February 28, 2018
“Every artist has be be unqiue in thier own right”
That sounds very ironic coming from you Sean, especially when you stay trying to recreate people. pic.twitter.com/pIIAhmgb3v
— The Notorious K.I.D. 👑 (@bceeteedubz) February 28, 2018
Then why don’t you invest on someone great? @HaloGlitz is great give him a chance !
— kate (@mrvlpantherkat) February 28, 2018