“See the things that’s tricky about politics is there’s so much bullsh*t with it,” he said. “We started Vote or Die and… and from the community we’re in, we’re not with hearing too much of the bullsh*t. So that’s why we get disenfranchised, [we’re] disconnected because nothing that they’re saying actually relates to us. So Vote or Die, and getting out the vote, those things [were] laid out there so people could understand about the process. We started Vote or Die, and the whole process was all full of sh*t. The whole sh*t is a scam.”
The comments are curious considering how much effort Combs put into his 2004 Vote or Die campaign, which was heavily promoted by MTV. The campaign encouraged young people to get engaged in the political process. In an interview with VH1, the Rev. Al Sharpton said Diddy’s Vote or Die campaign had encouraged many young people of color to register to vote and that helped elect Barack Obama in 2008. Sharpton said Obama’s campaign was also supported by many Black musicians, such as Jay Z, Beyoncé and Mary J. Blige, but that was all attributed to Diddy.
However, Diddy tried to walk back his comments. He later said people shouldn’t totally give up on the political process.
“At the end of the day I’m not telling you not to vote,” he said. “But I’m saying be a realist and know that they motherf*cking kicking some bullsh*t up there.”
He said young people should look at other ways to achieve their goals, such as social media.
“Use your power socially,” he said. “We have different aims and the young have more power than ever. You got 200 followers, if you decide that you want to make it a topic of discussion and that thing goes viral… So do your part, and leave the bullsh*t out of it. Let’s make a difference in this election. We all can play a part.”
Combs rose to fame in the 1990s with his Bad Boy music label that launched the careers of several influential hip-hop artists such as the late rapper, Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige and Ma$e. However, Puffy Daddy, who has gone by Puffy, Diddy and P. Diddy over the years, has diversified his interests to include a wide variety of business ventures. He has acted in TV shows and movies, launched Sean John, a successful clothing line, opened restaurants, started a vodka line and produced reality TV shows. He also own a controlling stake in the Revolt TV network. Although many rappers are now known for their various commercial interests, Diddy was the first to set the trend. This year, Forbes magazine estimated his net worth at $735 million.