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Life out here, A viewpoint by Bret Kofford: A P. Diddy world

August 22, 2001

It ain't easy being P. Diddy, but the hope of P. Diddy, formerly Puff Daddy and still Puffy, is it will be easier being P. Diddy than it was being Puff Daddy.

That is the important message I took Saturday from the MTV "Diary" episode about the life of P. Diddy, formerly Puff Daddy and still Puffy.

It is an important message, because P. Diddy has become a cultural icon, as were Puff Daddy and Puffy, one of whom still exists and one of whom exists only for his kids, who truly do need a Puff Daddy but not a P. Diddy, according to P. Diddy who is still Puffy but at this point only Puff Daddy to his brood.

Still, you never know. Remember what happened to Prince, who became The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, then became The Symbol and now is back to being Prince again? Prince being Prince again probably is a good thing, because Prince made a lot of wonderful pop hits, whereas The Symbol and The Artist mostly made trouble. P. Diddy has had a hit or two himself, but that was when he was Puff Daddy, and Puff Daddy didn't really perform all that much on his hit records anyway.


If this seems complicated, that's just how life is for P. Diddy. He does lots of stuff. He talks on two cell phones at once he's so busy, he's got a big crew, he changes basketball suits several times a day and he has to get in people's faces because he believes in his product, which is a lot of things but not much specific.

Like I said, it ain't easy being P. Diddy, but P. Diddy hopes it is easier than being Puff Daddy.

See, P. Diddy started life as Sean Combs, then he became Puffy, then he evolved into Puff Daddy, then Puff Daddy had some gunplay imbroglios and was waylaid by J-Lo. That meant Puffy got what he considers an unjustified bad rep attached to his Puff Daddy moniker. So he changed his name to P. Diddy professionally and remained Puffy personally while declining to go back to just plain Sean, which most of us think is a fine name but, let's be honest, it ain't no P. Diddy, is it?

By watching the MTV "Diary" episode, one gets a behind-the-scenes look at just why P. Diddy is the huge star he is and, one would assume, why Puff Daddy was the mega-star he was.

There are many reasons for all that. First, P. Diddy's got a big crew that's always hanging out at his crib, but they better behave 'cause Puff don't take no stuff. All the rooms in the P. Diddy crib have cameras and P. Diddy just might be monitoring any room at any time, that's just how omnipresent P. Diddy is. P. Diddy is everywhere. Check your radio, check your movie screen, check your supermarket checkout stand, check your surveillance camera … P. Diddy, P. Diddy, P. Diddy, P. Diddy.

Part of P. Diddy's crew is the Bad Boy Family, which apparently is something of a security detail that makes records with P. Diddy. The members have names like Black I and B Da Uzi and follow P. Diddy while he gives 'em advice on how to become as big as P. Diddy, star of stage, screen and People magazine.

I'm down with that. I often have the Bad Girl Family following me, one of whom is portly, old and limps and one of whom is young and muscular and could provide security if she didn't have a bad stomach that necessitated her being in a squat about a third of her life. And OK, the truth of it is they don't like it when they are called "bad girls."

That is one reason, among many, I ain't no P. Diddy.

P. Diddy says on "Diary" that he is trying to live as normal a life as possible. That, though, ain't easy when you've got a personal trainer, a personal chef, a personable personal valet, perpetual personal bodyguards and a personal assistant to your personal assistant. P. Diddy's just trying to keep it real, according to P. Diddy.

Still, P. Diddy don't have time for no mess. When P. Diddy is making a video, and he wants four Harleys instead of the two he got, get out of the way because P. Diddy knows what's best. Check his record. Look what he's got. He's got a rolling crib, too, my man. He's P. Diddy and he's got street cred, so you better listen up, or P. Diddy's going to stand on his toes and get in your face.

Not that P. Diddy doesn't have a sense of humor. In one scene in "Diary," P. Diddy is wearing an old Atlanta Hawks' Pete Maravich jersey. On the back it has Maravich's nickname, "Pistol." And not that long ago Puff Daddy, pre-P. Diddy, was busted in connection with three people being shot by a pistol in a nightclub. Get it? You can laugh with P. Diddy on that one, if he gives you permission.

Just as "Diary" was about ready to take us to a steamin' P. Diddy party, I had to go make some toaster waffles for myself and my son.

"I bet P. Diddy, what with his crew and his personal valet and personal chef, doesn't have any idea how easy and good toaster waffles can be," I thought as I took a scrumptious waffle bite.

Like I said, it ain't easy being P. Diddy.

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