“No one on the corner…”
Allow me to be the first to say that I believe hip-hop took a decisive turn when the man of many names, who I will simply refer to as Sean Combs, entered the stage. I cringed at his “don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks” stance, because I saw it as a frontal assault on my earliest passion: hip-hop. Every time he would do that little hoppity-hop dance, a little part of me would die inside. I believe it was the RZA who said something to the effect of, “Son is alright for what he’s doing. It’s just that what he’s doing is not hip-hop.” I hated him for years. How dare he engage in this mockery?
When I saw the “Puffy is Poison” video, like the other 70,000+ people that saw it, I was entertained. But then I began to think: “If I do believe that this life is for the strong and the rich, he has made himself both a strong presence damn near everywhere and rich, can I really knock this dude?” Well, sure I can in the literal sense of the word. But, Chris Rock said you can kick an old man down a flight of stairs – but that doesn’t mean it should be done. So I decided to relax my “Diddy” rule, and observe what he does. In addition to watching the occasional “I Want to Make a Band With Diddy At Work” episode, I perused his youtube posts and listening to the occasional ignored song.
The video above – I was horrified when I watched it. A friend sent it to me to lift my spirits. I thought, “I’m going through some shit, and this dude is sending me Diddy!” And then I watched him pour the Froot Loops and all was forgiven. It was then that I realized that he was not quite the ass-clown I thought him to be. No, I don’t think he became a better rapper. No, I don’t think that his cologne is no longer overpriced. No, I don’t think that sunglasses indoors is suddenly cool. But he has a bead on giving the people what they want; and for some reason, they want him. He doesn’t have to do it well. He simply has to do it the way he does it.
Now, I’m sure that some of what he does is for effect, but I simply attribute it to him putting on his “work face.” We all do silly shit. I was pop locking (poorly) while I was getting everyone ready to head out the door this morning. You think that if I could get rich off someone watching me engage in my shenanigans, I’d say “Nah bruh, I’m straight.” Shiiiiiiid. Organic chicken breasts don’t drop below $3.99/lb and they for damn sure don’t pay for themselves.
This isn’t a love letter Mr. Combs. I’m not saying I’m going to buy his next album. But I respects the hustle, so, player to pimp, you do the damn thing Whatever Your Name Is This Month.