As he gears up for his first project in nearly six years, Sean “Love” Combs covers the September issue of Vanity Fair.
The Bad Boy founder opens up about his return to music and reveals plans to start a new record label exclusively for R&B artists, an announcement that even caught his team by surprise.
“I’m coming back into music, you know?” says the 51-year-old mogul, who plans to revisit his R&B roots.
“Yeah, all R&B label, because I feel like R&B was abandoned and it’s a part of our African American culture,” adds Diddy.
While he has been criticized in the past for his Bad Boy contracts, Diddy plans to do things differently this time.
“And I’m not signing any artists. Because if you know better, you do better,” he says. “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.”
But first, Diddy is set to release his R&B-centric album Off the Grid on Sept. 24. “I’m making a classic,” he tweeted about his first release since 2015’s MMM (Money Making Mitch) mixtape.
The Love era marks a new chapter for Combs. “I am the happiest I’ve ever been in life, I laugh the most, I smile the most, I breathe the most,” he tells the magazine. “I look at my life as I got a second chance. I’m on my second mountain.”
He also feels a new sense of purpose. “I feel like God sent me, God, put on my heart, ‘What’s your purpose?’ I was looking at all these things, it’s preachers and just different people talking about purpose because I was like, man, purpose is something deep. Have I really found my purpose? I know I’m making money and I’m successful and I’m changing the game so called, but is that my purpose? And then I really prayed on it and God told me, ‘Your purpose is to play a part in saving the Black race.’”
In the interview, Diddy also opens up about his ex Jennifer Lopez. In May, he caused a frenzy when he posted a throwback photo from their 20-year-old romance. However, he insists that he wasn’t trolling his ex. “It wasn’t no trolling involved, that’s just my friend. And I don’t have nothing to say about her relationship or her life,” he says.