Diddy's upcoming documentary Can't Stop Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story is set to reveal a lot about the turmoil within Bad Boy and the personal struggles of Diddy prior to the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour in 2016. With some of the footage dating back decades, it promises to give you a window of what it was like to be an integral part of the record label.
With a lot of buzz behind Can't Stop Won't Stop, a lot of people are wondering what comes next for Diddy. If you believe what he told Buzzfeed, his own music is getting bumped down the priority list in order to help emerging artists and creators find their voices.
I want to dive into producing and creating content and really just supporting content creators. I think that the impact I want to have is to be able to empower a lot of the storytellers of color, who are not getting that chance and that opportunity. When I'm starting to make decisions, [I’m like,] ‘Can I have an impact that's bigger than myself?’ … Working behind the scenes, I think, will give people more opportunities and break down some doors.”
This jives with what Diddy recently told Complex's own Frazier Tharpe about his own creative output. During a discussion the two had about Can't Stop Won't Stop, Diddy told Complex he might be pulling back as an artist altogether after this project.
"I poured a lot of emotion into this movie," he said. "This movie is like my new album so this may be the last thing that I really do artistically. I have some records coming out to support the movie, but, this is what I would've talked about on an album."
The struggle Diddy had to go through when he was on the come-up in the 90's is a common story for a lot of rappers from that era, and to some extent, today. Hip-hop is a space dominated by people of color, but the record executives at the head of the table often don't reflect this dynamic, and that plants seeds of distrust between artists and the companies they're signed to. This has been at least a small part of the reason artists have prioritized independence in recent years.
There are artists and entrepreneurs who have helped change that dynamic a bit in hip-hop—look no further than names like Dr. Dre, Jay Z, Russell Simmons, and Diddy himself—but the overwhelming percentage of white men in charge is still a problem across many pop culture spaces. As a result, artists of color who want to try different things, like acting, directing, or running a business, are often dismissed as non-serious.
Since his longevity has put him in a position to help provoke change, Diddy sounds like he wants to make sure he uses it to make life easier for people going through the same struggles he did, and that's an admirable goal any way you slice it. Exactly how he goes about this is anyone's guess, but given that Diddy continues to thrive in 2017, I wouldn't bet against him.