As one of America’s richest musicians, Diddy is quite the businessman. Under his belt, right now, his endeavors include everything from fashion to alcohol, bottled water, and the cable network Revolt TV.
Even with Diddy’s successes, he still believes the industry doesn’t invest in enough black enterprise. “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,” he told Variety, in a new interview. “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. It makes sense to give [executives of color] 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.”
Ruthless in his critique of the music industry, he said, “There was segregation, as well as blatant racism, and there still is." He was also relatively harsh in his analysis of the film business creeping toward inclusion. “Black Panther was a cruel experiment, 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.”
For Diddy, resources and access are the major ways in which black entrepreneurs can have a stake in the these industries. “We only get 5 percent of the venture capital invested in things that are black owned—black-owned businesses, black-owned ideas, black-owned IP,” he said. “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. 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.”