Bad Boy Records pioneer Sean “Diddy” Combs has shared plans to launch a new record label with a different purpose. As the cover star of Vanity Fair‘s September 2021 issue, the 51-year-old opened up about his professional plans and personal life. One thing he announced is the creation of a brand new label for R&B artists only.
“Yeah, all R&B label, because I feel like R&B was abandoned and it’s a part of our African American culture,” he told the magazine. “And 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. [The new label is so that] we can own the genre; 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.”
This is a stark deviation from his thoughts of retirement expressed when he appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone alongside DJ Khaled in October 2019. In the interview, the “Bad Boy for Life” artist discussed his evolving role in music.
“I’m contemplating, ‘Is there a role for me in music now?; I just know that for me, I would only be able to sign legends,” he said. “To be honest, my decisions will be made through God. I’m at another frequency and level of music. It would have to be something that God fully put in my heart, like when I heard Biggie or I heard Mary [J. Blige].”
The “It’s All About The Benjamins” rapper also spoke more on the loss of Kim Porter, the mother of three of his biological children, son Christian “King,” 23, and 14-year-old twin daughters Jessie James and D’Lila Star, and stepson Quincy Brown, 30. Porter died in November 2018 at the age of 47. Her official cause of death was ruled as lobar pneumonia. Reports stated Porter was battling flu-like symptoms for a lengthy period of time.
Porter’s passing also brought home that not only is life fleeting, but so is public acclaim. “And so, you know, I had to start to deal with it when I lost Kim. ’Cause I was like, man, you had it. I’m not saying I would do any of it differently. God willing—I would have had more time,” he shared with Vanity Fair. “I look at my life as I got a second chance. I’m on my second mountain.”
The Harlem native’s journey toward self-discovery and redefinition has been years in the making. On his 48th birthday in 2017, Diddy announced his desire to change his name to “Brother Love.” Then in October 2019, he filed documents in the Los Angeles County Court to change his middle name to “Love.”
“I decided to change my name again,” he revealed at the time. “I’m just not who I am before. I’m something different. So my new name is ‘Love’ a.k.a. ‘Brother Love.’ I will not be answering to Puffy, Diddy, Puff Daddy, or any of my other monikers but ‘Love,’ or ‘Brother Love.’”
According to Billboard, the name change became official this May. He shared a picture of a Florida license plate with his middle name listed as “Love,” introduing fans to his new era.
Watch a behind-the-scenes clip of his cover shoot with Vanity Fair below: