I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — few people have more staying power in hip-hop and pop culture at large than Diddy. But surely you don’t get that far without stepping on a few toes… And maybe even having someone killed?
That’s a claim being leveled by a former LAPD police detective. In his self-published book, Murder Rap, Greg Kading alleges Sean ” Diddy” Combs paid a hit man $1 million to gun down Tupac Shakur in September of 2006.
Involvement in Tupac’s death is an allegation Diddy can’t escape — another rumor has previously circulated that Diddy was also indirectly responsible for the 1994 attempt on Tupac’s life. Whether or not these allegations hold any merit is yet to be determined, however they are bolstered by Diddy’s history of violence. When it comes to doing business, Diddy may be one of the most ruthless men in the business, the hip-hop equivalent of Don King.
Honestly, the similarities between the two are uncanny. Not afraid to beat someone up? Check. Diddy has faced numerous assault charges throughout his career, including the 1999 assault of music executive Steve Stoute, the 2001 assault of Michigan TV host Dr. Roger Mills, in 2007 for unleashing his bodyguards on hip-hop promoter James Waldon, and most recently, he threw drinks and cussed out a fellow partygoer for not drinking the Diddy-owned Ciroc vodka. Despite his efforted squeaky clean public persona, Diddy has decidedly violent problem solving skills.
Not to mention the infamous 1999 club shooting. Two men in the same situation, accused of the same crimes. Diddy gets off scot-free. His label artist, Shyne, is found guilty of the exact same charges, serving 10 years in jail. No doubt Diddy’s money helped pay for his exoneration, but to leave his artist out to dry is some downright skullduggery if there ever was.
A penchant for screwing over your acts? Check. Following the death of Biggie Smalls, the Bad Boy executive began to exercise a love ‘em and leave ‘em business ethic, investing in a artist as long as his short attention span would allow. Take for example all the musical acts to whom he’s laid waste — Da Band, Loon, Black Rob, Craig Mack, The LOX, Danity Kane and Total to name a few. While Diddy’s pockets have continued to get fatter, the vast majority of the acts that he’s worked with are either one-hit wonders, or somewhere collecting unemployment checks.
An unquenchable desire to stay relevant? Diddy has it. Like Don King, Diddy attaches himself to whatever is popular, cool, relevant etcetera. He is the king of reinvention, dipping his toes into any and all waters in pursuit of fame and fortune.
Even more amazing is both of these men’s ability to shirk their shady reputation and stay in the public’s good graces. Diddy’s solution, in particular, is so basic, it’s an attribute to public stupidity that we fall for it every time. Get caught up in a scandal? Change your name. Sean Combs has gone from Puff Daddy, to P. Diddy, to plain Diddy, all the in name of good publicity.
There is certainly a standard of ruthlessness that is required to acheive entertainment business success. The same qualities that may make people like Diddy and Don King shady business associates also help keep their careers alive.