As the classic college saying goes, mo' homework, mo' problems. But a few B.I.G. papers might be worth it to puff up the old transcript with an upcoming course offering at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. The course, "Topics: Sean Combs & Urban Culture," as its title suggests, plans to explore the history of the multifaceted businessman/musician/actor/philanthropist/public icon Sean Combs, a.k.a. Puff Daddy, a.k.a. Diddy, a.k.a. Puff Daddy again.

The class falls under the curriculum heading "History and Criticism" at the music engineering school, which itself is part of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. It will be worth two credits. The course catalogue notes:

Though sometimes not treated with seriousness he deserves, Combs has had a profound effect on global culture of the last twenty years. Through the success of his Bad Boy Records label, which distributed genre-defining artists like the Notorious B.I.G., Combs helped forever alter and change the sound and visuals of hip hop and R&B. Combs drew on Russell early business success to redefine the image of the hip-hop entrepreneur as aggressive, brash and full of self-assured swagger. He also helped redefine the concept of celebrity branded entertainment and he mainstreamed innovative marketing techniques (like street teams) in the music industry.

This class will investigate the social and cultural and political changes of the 1990s and how Sean Combs was catapulted to success by those changes. Through critical readings, viewings and listening assignments, the brilliance, tragedy, strategy and serial entrepreneurship of Sean Combs will be interpreted, discussed and dissected.

The class is being taught by former Bad Boy Vice President of Marketing and Promotions Jayson Jackson, whose other roles have included serving as Director of Marketing for Urban Music for Elektra and helping to put together The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Given the insider perspective, this is basically like taking a class on the Declaration of Independence taught by Samuel Adams (the noted signer the beer is named after)—in both cases the syllabus is all about the Benjamins.

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