Multiple award-winning hip/hop artiste, Sean Comb popularly known in showbiz circles as Diddy has opened up about the lack of investment in black enterprises.
In an open conversation with Variety as the July issue cover boy, Diddy disclosed that despite the huge sums of income the industry generates from black folks, they still do not get the rightful attention and position they deserve on the highest ladder in the industry.
According to the hip/hop artiste and business mogul, the lack of black people at top levels in major record companies motivates him as an artiste and business executive to do more and better for himself. To him, he sees no sense and reason in why black folks are not made CEOs despite the billions of money they are fetching the industry.
“For all the billions of dollars that these black executives have been able to make them, there is still hesitation to put them in the top level positions. They’ll go and they’ll recruit cats from overseas. It makes sense to give executives of color a chance and embrace the evolution, instead of it being that we can only make it to president, senior VP… There’s no black CEO of major record company. That’s just as bad as the fact that there are no black majority owners in the NFL. That’s what really motivates me,” said Diddy.
He went on to describe the Marvels 2018 movie ‘Black Panther’ as a cruel experiment, saying, “Black Panther was a cruel experiment, because we live in 2018, and it’s the first time that the film industry gave us a fair playing field on a worldwide blockbuster, and the hundreds of millions it takes to make it”.
For Combs, harnessing the means of production is the only way forward and the organizing principle of his various businesses.
“We only get 5% of the venture capital invested in things that are black-owned businesses, black-owned ideas, black-owned IP”, he says. “ You can’t do anything without that money, without resources, but when we do get resources, we over deliver. When Adidas invests in Kanye and it’s done properly, you have the right results. When Live Nation invests in artists and puts them in arenas the same way U2 would be, you have the right results. ‘Black Panther’, ‘Black-ish’, fashion; it’s all about success. If you’re blocked out of the resources, you can’t compete. And that’s my whole thing to be able to come and compete”.
At age 48, Diddy for two decades has been one of black America’s most visible and successful business figures and has dubbed the richest musician for several years running.