Sean “Diddy” Combs is the rap industry’s leading renaissance man. Producer, MC, mogul, actor, fashion designer and even marathon runner are just some of the titles used to describe this pop culture icon. Last night (July 6), Diddy sat down with Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg for Noisemakers, a live, one-on-one Q&A session to celebrate and offer insight into some of these accomplishments in front of a live audience.
During the interview—held at New York City’s 92YTribeca—Puffy, always an interesting subject, began by speaking on his early days as a party promoter at Howard University. “When I went to Howard, I thought I was going to a party school,” he said. “But when I got there, the parties weren’t really hot. So, the first party I promoted was this weekly Friday night event at this spot called Clubhouse and saw this as a way to make money.”
The dialogue between the charismatic Rosenberg and the ever-cool Diddy also touched on how a broken leg in high school ended his aspirations of becoming a professional football player but furthered his love of music. “I’m a very competitive and driven person and football was a perfect match for me,” he said of his first love. “And whatever I dreamed in my head, I knew it was going to be a reality. I was a cornerback and running back at Mt. St. Michael’s [Academy] in the Bronx and some scouts were coming to see me. But on the last day of [football] camp, I broke my leg. And that was the first time I felt heartbreak and that’s when music really became a release for me.”
Diddy also addressed the litany of blogs aimed at him and his association with Rick Ross. “I want to make it clear that I never compared [Rick] Ross to Biggie—there’ll never be another Biggie,” he said. “I feel like [Rick Ross] really just begun. He has a great sense of musicality and he’s from a different space. He’s an exciting artist…and he has a long way to go before he reaches greatness, but he’s on his way.”
During the candid sit-down, Puff also revealed that he had passed up on signing a young Ludacris, before the superstar inked with Def Jam. Yet despite that lapse in judgment, the expertise to hand pick those “diamond in the rough” talents has always been one of Diddy’s most resounding qualities. Looking forward, we can only imagine the next bevy of performers he has in his sights for the future. —Laurence Bass
Update: Watch Rosenberg’s introduction to the event below.