P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puffy, Sean Combs—whatever name he’s going by, the now 46-year-old musician, producer, record exec, and occasional actor has been a star since his teens. Last year, he returned as Puff Daddy with the release of “Big Homie,” a single featuring French Montana and Rick Ross. He then went relatively underground until earlier this month, when he surprise-released MMM, a sonic motion picture that can be watched for free online as a whole or separately as eight chapters. It can also be listened to via Spotify and Apple Music. Though MMM has now been streaming for nearly a month, this Friday, November 27, it will be released for digital sales. Rolling Stone has called the project an “all-star mixtape exploring the rap mogul’s Harlem roots,” with Pitchfork continuing, “He still commands attention from hip-hop heads and the casual music fan alike.” Composed of 13 tracks featuring artists that range from Lil Kim, Styles P, and King Los, to Jadakiss, Pusha T, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, and others, we couldn’t agree more. In honor of his comeback, here we’re reprinting an article from July 1994 that marks the first time the musical genius was ever featured in Interview.
Bad Boy Makes Good
By Maya Browne
Megalomaniac, altruist, playboy, loner. Which of these is an accurate description of Sean “Puffy” Combs, the 23-year-old president of Bad Boy records? All of them. Combs is a study in the fine art of contradiction. His musical roots span James Brown and Ozzy Osbourne, and the goals he seeks to accomplish through his new label, he says, have as much to do with helping underprivileged children realize their potential as they do with his Grammy-winning dreams. Bad Boy’s roster already boasts the work of Craig Mack and Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, two artists whose hard-core raps are a dramatic departure from the harmonious R&B tracks of Mary J. Blige and Jodeci, whose platinum selling albums Combs helped produce as a teenage vice president at Uptown Records. Five short years ago, he was sneaking out of his classes at Howard University to toil as an unpaid intern at MCA. Now all the hard work is paying off. Shy but brash, old beyond his years yet very young, and a super Scorpio to the core, Combs is the inner child we all want to be. Full-time.
THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY RAN IN THE JULY 1994 ISSUE OF INTERVIEW.
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