Just like many others have, Sean “Diddy” Combs said it’s wrong that the NFL doesn’t have any Black owners.
And in a new interview with Variety, he said it’s the same thing in the music business, because none of the major record companies, like Sony, Universal or Warner Music Group, have a Black CEO — even though Black artists, Black A&R reps and others have made them billions.
“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 Combs. “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,” he added. “It makes sense to give [Black executives] a chance and embrace the evolution, instead of it being that we can only make it to president, senior VP … There’s no Black CEO of a major record company. That’s just as bad as the fact that there are no [Black] majority owners in the NFL. That’s what really motivates me.”
Some might say the word “motivation” and Combs go hand and hand, as do the words “passionate” and “hustler.” Because since he interned at Uptown Records as a youngster, he’s left a huge imprint on hip-hop, urban culture, as well as mainstream culture.
Of course, after he was fired from Uptown, Diddy started his record label Bad Boy, then went on to run a slew of successful businesses.
To date, under his company Combs Enterprises, the 48-year-old has 10 brands, including Ciroc, Sean John, Revolt TV & Media and the Blue Flame Agency, which is a marketing firm.
But along the way, Diddy said that he had to navigate through a lot of racism, especially in the music business, and he said the film industry is even further behind when it comes to investing in Black folks.
“‘Black Panther’ was a cruel experiment,” he explained. “Because we live in 2018, and it’s the first time that the film industry gave us a fair playing field on a worldwide blockbuster, and the hundreds of millions it takes to make it.”
Diddy also said it’s that kind of funding that will allow Black businesses and Black created projects to be placed on the same big stage as others. Because when that happens, major record-breaking success is achieved, and a lot of money is made.
“We only get 5% of the venture capital invested in things that are Black-owned — Black-owned businesses, Black-owned ideas, Black-owned IP,” he stated. “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,” added Combs. “When Live Nation invests in artists and puts them in arenas the same way U2 would be, you have the right results. ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Black-ish,’ fashion; it’s all about access. If you’re blocked out of the resources, you can’t compete. And that’s my whole thing, to be able to come and compete.”