Diddy’s brand is reaching new heights today!
At 8pm, his highly anticipated music television network Revolt TV will finally launch on Time Warner and Comcast, and to celebrate, a nervous and excited Diddy made his promo rounds in New York City this morning. During a stop at Power 105.1FM’s The Breakfast Club, he offered up some motivation to aspiring moguls as he chatted about his latest business venture and his journey from a Howard University student and intern to a network owner. He also stressed how Revolt is going to be different than what BET and MTV have turned into and will focus heavily on actually breaking out music videos (because Lord knows those minute and a half snippets on 106 are a bust).
Although most of the chat was about Revolt being the voice of a young, rising generation of talented artists, designers, and VJs, Diddy did touch on why it seems like New York hip hop has taken a turn, while dethroning Kendrick Lamar as the King of New York. “This year I am the king of New York, you gotta give me that. If not I’ll take it.”
Peep the excerpts below:
On why he decided to launch his own network
I really went the ‘brand’ route. I really put a bet on music and a bet on technology. When I started seeing the festivals go from one weekend to two weekends and just as far as the way music is consumed at an all-time high right now, if you think about it, in about five years, television will actually be everywhere. It will be on your mobile devices, it will be worldwide. So that’s really the opportunity that I saw. I saw that there was no ESPN of music. There was no CNN of music. There was no one trusted destination.
On MTV & VH1 moving away from music and videos
They changed their business plan. Sometimes you gotta focus and be one thing and do one thing great and that’s what we’re gonna do with music. Our whole thing is having enough fearlessness to play what doesn’t normally get played. Different alternative artists are multi-genre…especially in hip hop. Travis Scott, or let’s say back in the day two years ago A$AP Rocky. Like when people were just discovering them on YouTube, we’re gonna really kind of curate it and be a platform for new aspiring artists to grow, for graphic designers, for shooters, really for the culture, but we’re gonna raise the bar from a performance level and from a video level to make sure that we have a bar of excellence that you have to achieve in order to get played on REVOLT.
My whole staff is young. We don’t have a whole lot of veterans. We don’t have new rules, we have no rules.
On starting off as an intern & dreaming of a bigger future
It was less than 200 years [ago] that we were slaves. I was really affected by that movie [’12 Years a Slave’] and you gotta understand, I started out as an intern, man. I started out getting coffee, cleaning bathrooms. I started out sneaking on the train from Howard University, and this is really a dream come true. It’s bigger than me. There’s a lot of people out there that want to be somebody, and it really shows that if you put that hard work into it, you can really get it. I got the same 24 hours as y’all do. We all got the same 24 hours. I just want this network to inspire people all over the world that it can be done.
This is the most fearless generation of all time. They’ve basically said, ‘Eff everything. We gon’ go out there and get it on our own,’ and we want to embrace that whole movement. I used to walk around and just talk to myself, walking from one job to another and I would just be talking to myself. Talking about the things that I [dreamed] and that I wanted to be. This right here goes out to all the people, y’all know who y’all are, and y’all know what I’m talking about. Talking to yourself about how you want to get it and what you want to be and this is something that’s big. People don’t have networks.
On what he learned from OWN
One of the things I learned was that I had to be in the office early. I had to get in there and really work with people to get them to understand what I was doing, was something new. I didn’t want them to just — ’cause I hired the best of the best as far as the team perspective — but I didn’t want them to bring their old ways. I wanted them to bring their infrastructure, but a new way of thinking.[…] The thing I paid attention to with the Oprah network was make sure people understand that this is not the Diddy network. I won’t be all over the network. The network will be different, young, new, fresh faces. My label and myself will be held to a bar, the same bar of excellence and scrutiny that all the other videos and musical content are.
On coming back to being happy and not so serious
You know that recession when it was going down, I had to get serious. I’ve definitely been having some personal breakthroughs in my life and just on a man in the mirror side of things and taking accountability for me being happy, me being balanced, and me growing as a person. I think when you get closer to God you’re happier and when you get closer to the knowledge of yourself and you’re not afraid to go on that journey to find out how messed up you are, how good you are, but your overall result is that you want to be a better man and a better father and it puts you in that spirit.
I’m just closer to growing up. I’m not against marriage. I think people think that’s something I’m against. I just wanna do it when I’m ready to do it. But what I’m ready to do today is I’m ready to launch this network! I’m happy though.
On NYC hip hop
Our competitive nature and a lot of the music lost it’s soul. Like, the track ain’t hot. You can’t start out and the track ain’t hot. So, the New York style of producing changed. A lot of people abandoned it and got confused and the whole dance movement and the whole turn up movement in Atlanta or whatever, and New York tried to conform. Conformity of music of any art form is the death of it. New York artists at the end of the day, we still I feel this is still a home of hip hop but at the same time we lost our championship. We lost our dynasty of it. That’s just real talk. I think that the other regions put their soul into it. When you hear Future, that’s really him baring his soul. And it starts with the track. The track is fire. It’s where he’s from, but we don’t make stuff that’s authentic to us anymore or where we’re from. It ain’t a lot of dope MCs that have gotten a chance. We can’t blame nobody but ourselves. I can’t even blame the radio station because I feel like there’s some stuff that we haven’t delivered that was hotter than the other region’s music.
On Kendrick Lamar
I was a king before Kendrick and I’ll be a king after Kendrick. I think that Kendrick is a young king. I think that people use the words too lightly, but if you know the whole knowledge of back in the day of the Tudors and the crowns, you had to go and get that. He put it on the game so I feel like he deserves it. He ain’t the king of New York, though. I’m the king of New York. That’s what it is.
On Jay Z being King of NY too
That’s my boy and we congratulate each other, but on this New York thing, he can be king of Brooklyn.*laughs* Nah, that’s my man Hov. But this year I am the king of New York, you gotta give me that. If not I’ll take it.