Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs believes hip-hop “unified the world”.
The 53-year-old music mogul argued people who grew up in the 80s and 90s are all part of the “culture” of the genre because they understand it better than their parents’ generation, but insisted people had to seek out the music, rather than have it marketed to them.
Speaking to The Sunday Times’ Culture magazine, he told his interviewer: “You are part of hip-hop culture. You’re white, from London, but hip-hop got so big that you don’t look at it with a stereotypical view like your parents did. Because you grew up with it.”
He then added: “I don’t think it was marketed to the suburbs. People went on the hunt for it. It wasn’t your mother’s music. It was cool. Hip-hop has had the biggest impact of all musical genres. It unified the world.”
Diddy believes the “hustle and entrepreneurism” found on social media is a result of hip-hop and argued young people making music on their phones are also inspired by rap’s spontaneity.
He insisted: “That’s what hip-hop was always about — having a voice.”
Despite selling millions of records over the years and inspiring artists including Eminem, Rihanna and Ed Sheeran, Diddy can’t play any musical instruments but insisted he can always “feel” what works in a song.
Humming, he said: “That’s what I tell a keyboardist.
“Me hearing sounds is like how Messi kicks a ball — it’s all feeling.
“When I had to do my chores. I’d be vacuuming and hear a record, but heard other sounds over it — I was hearing records in the way that I would take them, if I had the chance.”
Diddy thinks he was heavily influenced by his year of birth.
He explained: “I love that I was born in 1969!
“When I was conceived man landed on the moon and there were assassinations. I was born and conceived in that energy, but also the energy of Curtis Mayfield and Barry White. That’s the music I grew up with. Then, in the Eighties, hip-hop landed. And then I made all the music for the Nineties . . .”