Ranking the Outrageously Awesome Style of Puff Daddy's Music Videos

Puff Daddy's videos might be the most steezy in all of hip-hop. Here's a definitive ranking.

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Complex Original

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Sean Combs Puff Daddy P. Diddy Just Diddy Diddy-Dirty Money Puff Daddy is king of the blockbuster music video. He even holds a top spot on the 10 most expensive visuals of all time, amongst the likes of heavy-hitting music video auteurs Michael Jackson and Madonna. Puffy is the walking embodiment of fearless, fuck-you swagger, and his videos embody that tenfold, from his days as The Notorious B.I.G.'s hype man to his still-enduring solo career today. And the style angle is just as awesomely outsized as everything else in the vids.

On the heels of his recently released, appropriately absurd video for his latest single, "I Want the Love," we pay respects to one of the rap genre's greatest creative minds when it comes to this treatment shit. We can only hope the forthcoming MMM album has more of the same in store for us. Read on for a definitive Ranking of the Outrageous Style of Puff Daddy's Music Videos.

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13. Waka Flocka Flame - "O Let's Do It (Remix)"

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Director: Greg Williams
Most outrageously awesome moment: PowerPoint-level screen flame-out during Puffy's verse.

Was this the birth of Trap Puff, the MMG overlord new-era Diddy we all love and admire today? Your boy is talking that talk with a new zero-fucks swagger in his step courtesy of some impeccable ghost-written Rozay bars and the visual is there to match the hood opulence. Puff's posted in, like, a five-figure fur, in a parking lot mobbing with the goons, like when Marlo Stanfield ran right out of that cocktail party and back to the block. The block was calling Sean Combs, we should all be glad he picked up.

12. G.Dep - "Let's Get It"

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Director: Director X
Most outrageously awesome style moment: The, ahem, Diddy-bopping in this one is especially next-level.

Three the hard way. So, G. Dep and Black Rob fizzled out. This was still a major moment, and this track was the hottest shit out for a time. Hip-hop fashion has long appropriated sportswear into the steez and trends, but has anybody ever put on for baseball (outside of fitteds, obviously) the way Puff does here? Dude's dressed like he's reporting live from the dugout during his verses and the look is extremely strong. How long until someone rediscovers this video and gets every single one of these trends back in rotation?

11. "Big Homie"

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Director: Itchy House Films
Most outrageously awesome style moment: popping a bottle of champagne outside the hood late-night eats spot.

Only Puff Daddy would stage both his musical comeback and the return of the moniker we all never actually stopped calling him by gathering all his fellow A-list friends to...mob outside the parking lot of a chicken joint. Everyone's fur game is impeccable, from Rozay down to Ashanti. But the real next-level swag on display is youngest Combs male Christian effortlessly inheriting the stunt-genes while rapping a few bars for pops. Very touching.

10. "Satisfy You"

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Director: Hype Williams
Most outrageously awesome style moment: Diddy, clad in a fresh velour suit, leaps onto his girl's sidebae when he catches them in his bed.

Puff, Hype, and Robert really went to heaven for the location scout. This is back before green screen in videos was an everyday YMCMB thing, so really that's the only explanation for these two being sadboyz in front of the most picture-perfect sky of all time. Come for Diddy and Kellz in matching all-white ethereal looks twirling their trench coats around like Batman's cape, and shrug at the narrative's basic, gender inequality two-timing Tyler Perryian melodrama. 

9. "I Want the Love"

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Director: Elf Rivera
Most outrageously awesome style moment: Posting up on the Iron Throne of Westeros in the Alps.

Yep, that's the actual, 900lb eponymous throne from Game of Thrones that Ser Combs is slouching in like he stayed up too late counting Ciroc money the previous night. But even if he wasn't flexing the power of finessing props from HBO, the vid for his latest chest-thumping, Fuck-Haters-Been-Rich (Puffy is definitely #TeamLannister) anthem would make the cut, because it's set in the Alps. Freezing models, docile but fearsome wolves, and skimobiles—the whole thing plays like a Brosnan-era Bond film with no bad guys. Therein lies the metaphor: there is no competition.

And just when we thought we'd have to sit Diddy down for a fur intervention, he and Meek switch things up mid-vid on said skimobiles with matching cream-colored winter coats. If you haven't noticed by now, Diddy is not one to shy away from bromantically coordinating the fits.

8. Busta Rhymes - "Pass the Courvoisier (Part II)"

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Director: Chris Robinson
Most outrageously awesome style moment: Diddy fends off attackers while wearing only a robe and, most importantly, not spilling the Courvoisier. BONUS: Trucker-hat era Pharrell humping a girl under the pool table mid-party.

This is Busta's video but the Rush Hour 2 send-up is so awesomely corny that you can imagine this treatment being Puff's selling point to appear in the video. And of the many memorable scenes of Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan's modern classic, which lends itself more to a rap video than that of being treated like lords in a geisha house right before goons attack?

And yes, in case you forgot, B. Rhymes, P. Diddy and co-star Jamie Foxx really do go all the way with the fight scene, with Puffy doling out karate kicks in a white robe while clutching the precious Courvoisier. 

7. Diddy-Dirty Money "Coming Home"

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Director: Rich Lee
Most outrageously awesome style moment: Rapping in the desert during a sandstorm.

Is anyone more committed to pulling off a strong look for the clip than P dot? This track is all about the feels, and few settings get that point across more than wandering aimlessly in the desert. But wow, dude is strolling through the Mojave not only in all-black-everything, but LEATHER on top of that. That's serious swamp-ass in the Sean John underoos for a multi-day shoot. But the vid looks great, so, worth it.

6. The Notorious B.I.G. - "Big Poppa"

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Director: Hype Williams
Most outrageously awesome style moment: Moet. Jacuzzi. Scantily clad women.

One of the most iconic images to ever come out of a hip-hop visual: That spacious jacuzzi, the free-flowing champagne, the honeys. This is life goals inspiration at its finest, the kind of aspirational opulence new rappers come into the game trying to emulate. And Diddy was doing it way early in the trajectory and doing it in style.

5. The Notorious B.I.G. - "Mo Money Mo Problems"

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Director: Hype Williams
Most outrageously awesome style moment: Float-rapping in a zero-gravity chamber.

A music video treatment game-changer. You thought a video's moving parts all had to come together? Not so, says Puff. The Bad Boy dynamic duo spit their verses on spacey sets in alternating super-bright costumes that are definitely first to mind when people reflect on the "Shiny Suit Era." Then they're suddenly in a zero-gravity chamber.

Meanwhile a running skit follows Puffy Combs on the green trying to score a PGA Masters win in BIG's honor while Ma$e Gumbel reports. These two story threads never intersect. And then there's that final "Cool Guys Don't Look At Explosions" shot, which feels like Michael Bay either slid through for a guest-direct or owes Hype and Puff some bread for inspiring Bad Boys 2.

4. "Victory"

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Director: Marcus Nispel
Most outrageously awesome style moment: Doves poetically fly outward from all-black-everything Diddy as he Christ-poses in a large church.

Behold, the seventh most expensive music video of all time, with a price tag of about $2.7 mil ($3.9 when adjusted for inflation). Puff trailblazed the blockbuster video for rap on the low, going full Michael Jackson here with the narrative—an homage to Schwarzenegger's The Running Man; the special effects; and the A-list cameos—Dennis Hopper and Danny DeVito's appearances aren't even part of the hefty price tag; they appeared pro bono.

The Big Homie's clout was big enough even in '98 to get two of Hollywood's biggest and best to come through for free. Thankfully, Puff's homage doesn't extend to Arnold's eyesore of a costume, eschewing yellow for all-black and a pair of futuristic frames that look like an eyemask. Basically, he's the Batman of 3002.

3. "Bad Boy For Life"

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Director: Chris Robinson
Most outrageously awesome style moment: Puff ends his neighborhood Bad Boy block party in full biker steez with a motorcycle stunt performed by the man himself.

Combs on your block so now the block is hot. Diddy runs with the tried-and-true narrative of new money rap figures setting up shop in decidedly white and swagless suburban hoods, only, in Puffy's hands that mean cameos from Ben Stiller as an unhappy neighbor. Of course, this requires showing up the lame bros in a game of driveway hoops with some help from Shaq, with a coordinated victory dance after. That means rocking out (this song's beat is fire, if you forgot) in the garage like a pack of lame teenagers who have nothing better to do than start a band. It means out-styling all the other neighbors in everything from tall white tees to a Shaq Lakers jersey (during the Shaq scene, naturally), to custom Bad Boy jerseys.

And it means climaxing his self-thrown welcome to the neighborhood celebration with a block party that ends with him on his Tony Hawk steez. A song that contains a line as epically stuntworthy as "Don't worry if I write rhymes—I write checks" has to have a video and style to match, and this did not disappoint. (Should we assume Mark Curry is still riding around that cul-de-sac on the chopper?)

2. Nas - "Hate Me Now"

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Director: Hype Williams
Most outrageously awesome style moment: Puffy crucified on a cross as Black Jesus. 

What else is there to say about this video? It's a Nas joint but the Puffy influence is clear and prevalent, whether he backtracked out of certain controversial shots or not. He's perched on top of a bodega overseeing chaos like a scene out of a Batman flick B.C. (before Christopher (Nolan)), egging Escobar on. They pull up to the club in the ostentatious Frank Lucas furs, the wildest alphet Nas has ever worn to date. And there's a white tiger in VIP at the club with them. Style accessories flown in straight off the National Geographic set, b. This is a Puff production through and through, it just has Nas' name on it.

1. "Come With Me"

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Director: Howard Greenhalgh
Most outrageously awesome style moment: The entire video.

There was no way Godzilla could come to New York City without paying respects to the king of the city. If you don't remember (or worse, never experienced) the truly spectacular song and accompanying video Puff provided to Godzilla '98's soundtrack, allow us to shame you for a minute...

Okay, enough of that. Look, the glorious absurdity on display in this video can only be explained sufficiently with a scene-by-scene recap of the entire seven-minute extravaganza:

- The setting: a bleak, rainy day in the city that never sleeps, but Puffy, in a strong all-black leather alphet, is sleeping—dreaming, to be specific. Of sex with Garcelle Beauvais scored to "Between the Sheets." (Note: Garcelle does not appear in Godzilla. There's absolutely no reason for her appearance other than Because Why Not.)

- Puff stirs. Sounds of chaos from outside drift up to his high-rise loft. Scenes of Godzilla's rampage through the city are intercut. Puff narrowly avoids a Metro bus that crashes through his apartment. He then returns to the wreckage to rap-narrate Godzilla's attack.

- (Note re: Puffy's raps: What the hell is this song even about?)

- The not-so-genius idea of rapping in a bus-made-window backfires as an explosion sends Sean flying right into the elevator. Which inexplicably starts falling upward.

- Diddy keeps rapping as the elevator climbs higher and higher until it crashes right through the roof and into the sky where—this is where things get really next-level—he's jettisoned out and MORPHS INTO A DOZEN WHITE DOVES. DIDDY HAS DIED.

- Heavenly clouds fill the sky and the screen until a figure materializes: the doves have TRANSMOGRIFIED into a reborn, angelic Diddy who slo-mo floats back to Earth in an angelic coke-boy suit.

- Puff touches down center stage in a large concert set-up in the middle of Times Square, where he and a full 50-piece orchestra band heroically perform amidst Godzilla's ravaging for fleeing citizens and military. This is lowkey more noble and poetic than the band on the Titanic. 

- Lyrics include "I wanna fucking bite you!/can't stand nobody like you!" Roars serve as bleeps. (Note: All throughout this video Jimmy Page has been crushing the guitar from animated billboards.)

- Godzilla thugs through for a front row seat. He tries to test Puff's G with a face-to-face stare-down.

- Sean matches the stare and then, unimpressed, TURNS HIS BACK AND WALKS AWAY WHILE GODZILLA ROARS. Puff Daddy ends this epic summer blockbuster music video by completely curving the King of All Monsters, wow. Give this man a Lifetime Achievement award already.

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