VIBE Exclusive: Diddy Speaks On Revolt Cable TV Deal, 'Yeezus' And Changing The Game With Jay-Z
Being disruptive is the theme of the day and Sean “Diddy” Combs knows just how to make the definition fit his iconic lifestyle.
Calling in from Cannes, France, while out doing conferences and big money business, Diddy gives us the low down on his biggest move yet: cable station owner. The mega mogul has yet again added to his portfolio of profitable passions, this time in the form of a cable channel named Revolt—a youth culture based music station for the masses.
This time is especially grand and celebratory as Diddy closed a deal to get cable distributor in Time Warner to house his new network in conjunction with Comcast Cable. Experience the euphoria that is Diddy on deal day; there's lots of inspiration to absorb so, “take that, that that!”
VIBE: Seems like a great day, what does this deal mean for you and the Revolt brand?
To be honest there’s not a lot of things that I celebrate in my career because I hold myself at a higher standard. This is one of the proudest moments in my life and my career. To be able to be in power with a network that’s going to be a platform for true artistry and artists from all around the world to get a chance to be seen and heard in an authentic way and cover music from a journalistic point of view in real time and the depth of what’s going on in their lives, to become that unit of one name in music. I’m excited to be with Time Warner and Comcast. I done did a lot of things but I’ve never done nothing like this here right here. I’m just excited.
Why do you feel it’s so important for the culture now to have the music as the focus whereas so many other channels don’t use the music as the focus?
Music is in a state of emergency. There’s a majority of music isn’t really saying anything, artists aren’t living up to their full potential as superstars and there’s not a platform that empowers them to do that. The platform actually makes them dumb themselves down to get the airtime. Our concept is the opposite. If you dumb yourself down, you wont be seen or heard. Basically the truth will set you free. It’s time for us to empower this generation of kids that are independent, that aren’t going to be needing the record companies two years from now, that they are going to need a place to launch and be able to be heard and trust with their stories and that’s what Revolt is about. When we came with Bad Boy we were interviewed by VIBE, we trusted VIBE as a platform with our story. We trusted BET, we trusted MTV, but then everybody got nervous and abandoned music and started the whole thing like the music industry was declining and it’s the opposite.
The business model has changed and music’s popularity is at an all time high. Nine of the top Twitter users are musical artists. Nine of the top 10 pages on FaceBook are musical artists. Musical influencers and artists they really influence the culture of the world. They have no one place to go. For news we have CNN, for sports we have ESPN. For music we don’t have anything until today. Now we have Revolt, which will be launching in October and it’s not the Diddy channel, it’s the artist channel. I want to make it clear; it’s the artist channel.
We thought it was going to be this thing where you had the Diddy “Movie of the Week”. We still may have that though right?
I’m not going to lie, I will give you things that are entertaining and that you like about me. I do want to support the channel, but the channel is not about me, the channel is not about Bad Boy, the channel is about the music industry and that’s a culture as a whole. It’s about the fans get to be heard and they get to program and decide what’s hot, and who should be amplified and that’s why it’s called Revolt also.
You still embrace urban culture where a lot of people that are in your position shy away from it. Why are you still so in love with urban culture and still able to work and be successful in it?
This world is changing at an all time fast rate and the world is becoming more urban by nature. The urban community, not even saying just white or black, but you’re saying yellow, brown, black and white is the new majority. I just think that just believing and trusting that the urban community will evolve and be the future leaders and would be the future of this country has come true now. We actually dictate what is cool, what’s hot, what’s not, who’s the president, how people walk, how they talk, how they dress. We are the most powerful community in the whole world. We have that soul and I wanted to create a platform.
You have to understand this platform is simultaneously the first network to be brought up in the social media age. We are of course all screened simultaneously, through your mobile device, through your computer, to when you get home on your television screen when you’re there, and most importantly we’re on the ground. Right now at Coachella, there’s nobody covering Coachella. What is Coachella about, who’s there what does it make you feel like? Hot 97’s Summer Jam, there’s no one covering that thing. Kanye West had a baby, how does he feel about it? The list can go on and on. Is Lil’ Wayne all right, is he really retiring? There are so many unanswered questions. Has anybody gotten an interview with the Weeknd yet? This is the number one most consumed form of discussion by millennials online and social. Revolt is social by design and Revolt isn’t afraid to be what it is and we want to really to take chances and empower people that others don’t take chances on.