Sean Combs – now going by Love after moving on from the Puffy, Puff Daddy and Diddy monikers – made a big announcement in his Vanity Fair September issue cover story: the music mogul intends to launch an “all R&B label.”
“I’m coming back to music, you know?” Combs told the magazine. “[An] all R&B label, because I feel like R&B was abandoned and it’s a part of our African American culture.” While one of the most successful label figures to come out of the ’90s, the Bad Boy Records founder has also come under scrutiny over the years from signees — such as former Bad Boy artists The Lox and Mase — that claim he treated them unfairly in business.
This time around, Combs made it clear he wasn’t looking to replicate the Bad Boy model: “I’m not signing any artists. Because if you know better, you do better. I’m doing 50–50 partnerships with pure transparency. That’s the thing.” Combs says his intent is to “own the genre” of R&B. “We don’t own hip-hop right now. We have a chance to—and I’m going to make sure that—we own R&B.”
Earlier this year, Combs published an open letter to “corporate America,” accusing U.S. corporations of exploiting Black culture without fair compensation and saying the time for change was long overdue. That letter received some backlash from people who criticized his business own practices. When pushed on the issue by Vanity Fair, Combs replied: “I can’t get caught up in that. I know where my heart is at, and you can’t just do it alone with just Black people. You got to have all types of allies. And that’s one thing I’m good at, I’m good at being a unifier, but I’m not going to be in a room with other tribes that protect themselves and make sure that they straight and not make sure that we straight.”