Sean “Diddy” Combs has delivered a message forewarning the loss of Hip Hop culture if more ownership by the ones who built it aren’t put in place.
He used a clip of a bunch of white kids sitting atop a parked car, emulating a rap music video with wads of cash and parroting dance moves often seen in those same visuals to St. Louis rapper AMR Dee Huncho’s 2017 cut “Body Bags & Bricks.”
“Our culture is a global resource,” Diddy captions under the clip on Instagram. “Let’s not play ourselves and wake up one day and not own our own culture. Tighten up on your contracts, tighten up on your deals. Demand ownership. Demand equity. Protect your culture. IT’S FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY BUT FOR US TO OWN!”
As history has shown, music genres such as rock and jazz were co-opted by white Americans in the past and Diddy is encouraging for black Americans to not let that happen with Hip Hop by demanding ownership and equity.
Hip Hop is currently the #1 listened to genre in the world and its impact on cultures across the globe cannot be denied. However, it’s the creators of the music, style of dress, slang and dance that get the short stick when it comes to receiving the proper credit and compensation deserved. Historically, it’s been older, White male executives who profit off the culture and who then resell it back to the culture’s creators at a premium price.
Though some feel as though this is a memorandum to exclude non-Black people from Hip Hop, Diddy, who champions the thought of Black Excellence, just wants his people to get their fair share of the pie through ownership.
The Hip Hop pioneer and mogul isn’t one to just talk, he’s shown through action that he means what he says. He’s the founder of minority-owned REVOLT TV, founded Harlem’s Capital Preparatory School and recently pledged $1 million for Capital Prep’s Bronx site.