Get That Money – Letter From the Editor
Puff. One of my favorite words. So it only seems right to be excited about putting Puffy on this month’s cover. Sure, it says Diddy on the front, but the mogul has had a few different names over the years, and it’s still the same mogul. The No. 1 mogul in hip-hop, actually, and it’s his very first time on the cover of the No. 1 music magazine. Is that weird? Seems like he should have been on sooner, right? But that’s history, and this is the now. And Puffy’s been there dancing and making hits all along.
That’s what’s crazy to me: Puffy’s history, that he’s been around and a part of so much in hip-hop history. You can forget that sometimes—how far back his impact goes. So, yeah, it was about time Sean Combs was on the cover of XXL. And to see him in Diddy mode at the photo shoot was…exciting! I do believe, at one point, he kinda circled, kinda danced around me a couple of times and called me Mama Bear, and I was into it.
And the amount of clothing and accessories he brought would have impressed anyone. There were cases and cases of his private sunglasses collection sitting on top of a table, with dozens of shoes underneath. (Look through the mag and see how many different pairs of shoes he actually wore… LOL.) There were racks of clothing, and people followed Puff around, carrying trays of diamond jewelry and a laptop with his new album, Last Train to Paris, playing out of mini speakers. Dawn and Kalenna, of Diddy-Dirty Money, primped and posed, while Puff dominated. It felt kind of like an event. (It was—Puff’s first XXL cover!) A bigger event than usual. Maybe a fancier one? There was some dancing and singing, and I almost said, “Take that, take that,” a bunch of times, but never did. Okay, not really, but that was the vibe of the day. I was hoping we would puff at the Puff shoot, but no such luck. Do moguls even puff? They have to have some sort of vice, with all that entourage to take care of. But everyone is playing a role. The Diddy team is a Diddy machine. So maybe the mogul isn’t that stressed…
At the end of the day, we got some really beautiful photos thanks to Travis Shinn, and a couple of weeks later Thomas Golianopoulos wrote a great story (page 48). But T.G. didn’t just work on the Puff piece. He also (with the assistance of Deputy Editor Rob Markman) wrote a crazy Guru story [CLICK HERE] about the last few years of the legendary rapper’s life and his mysterious death (page 60). This story is the reason magazines and newspapers are important, folks—the reporting. You don’t get that on the Web. Maybe in the future, one day, but not now. Well, you do when we post the magazine article up on XXLMag.com, but otherwise…
Another tedious yet entertaining task well done this issue is our rap-reality-show breakdown (page 66) by Tracy Garraud and Senior Editor Matt Barone. With so many reality shows lately and Puffy, the king of MTV reality shows, on the cover, it made sense to rate what some of these rappers are calling “real” on the boob tube. (Who says “boob tube” out loud? No one. It’s really just fun to write.) My personal favorite will always be DMX’s Soul of Man, and I will always respect the relationship between Earl and Earl. If there’s any show there should be multiple seasons of it’s that one. In fact, someone should just give X a Flip camera streaming live to the Web somehow (preferably on our site), but that’s a whole different topic.
There’s a bunch of good reading in the mag this month, including the making of Ice Cube’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (page 74), a discussion with creative partners Nas and Damian Marley (page 70), our high-end fashion and much more.
And with that, I’m off to catch the last train to Virginia (or maybe a subway to Brooklyn?) to find the man of my dreams and lose him then find him then lose him then find him one last time. And his name is D’Angelo. (Let’s get your shit together already. I believe! Meet me at 24 Hour Fitness, and we’ll work it out.)
Can’t stop, won’t stop,