Diddy has voiced his issues with the lack of identity in New York Hip Hop, and he believes the Big Apple has to stop biting other regions.
During a recent conversation with Funk Flex on Hot 97, the Bad Boy boss admitted he’s tired of New York City being in “last place” and urged the city’s rappers to step up and embrace their roots.
“New York, we’re in last place,” Diddy said. “I’m here to tell y’all, and that shit comes to an end today. We’re gonna start doing us. The way you hear the beat in your head, do you. The way you move, do you. The way you dress, do you. Don’t be doing them, God bless them.”
He continued: “A New York cat is not supposed to be following nobody nowhere for nothing. Because we come from a rich culture of artists and designers and creatives. New York was always leaders, and we don’t blend in, b. We from New York, the fuck?”
Diddy stated his intentions to lead the way and set an example for other New York artists to follow with his own upcoming music. “That’s what I’m doing. I’m going to lead the way,” he said. “I’m doing me, New York, unapologetically.”
View this post on Instagram
Diddy echoed a similar sentiment during his interview with The Breakfast Club on Wednesday (October 5), where he specifically addressed the influence of trap and drill — sub-genres synonymous with Atlanta, Chicago and London — on New York Hip Hop.
“I’m here to deliver a message to New York artists,” Puff began. “We have to press the hard reset button and get back to being us. I love that we know how to rap on trap beats, I love that we know how to rap on drill beats from London, but what are we rapping on that’s coming out of this city? I don’t want to sit back and see my city stay in last place and keep on following what everyone else is doing.”
He added: “We the swag, we the alpha, you know what I’m saying? The alpha and omega, we started it. And no disrespect to nobody else, we should be competing from New York in a way you have to figure out, ‘Ok, this is what’s going, that’s going on. How am I gonna produce something that makes our people move so we could do us?'”
Diddy’s comments come on the heels of a long-running identity crisis in New York Hip Hop. Despite birthing the genre and reigning supreme in the ’80s and ’90s, the city experienced a decline in the mid 2000s when Atlanta and other southern cities such as Miami, Houston and New Orleans began to dominate the charts, clubs and airwaves.
Since then, many rap stars from the Rotten Apple have been accused of adopting the styles of other regions, from Dipset embracing the South to A$AP Rocky’s Houston-inspired sound to the Chicago and London-influenced drill wave that dominates the city today.
“New York Hip Hop was destroyed single-handedly by ego,” he declared. “The South saw how we fucked it up — meaning Atlanta — and they cliqued up and said, ‘We not gonna make that mistake.’ We got Roc-A-Fella, we got Ruff Ryders, we got Terror Squad, we got G-Unit, we got Dipset.”
He added: “As soon as muthafuckas started getting hot and started getting a different type of money, they started feeling like they that person, they that guy. It’s so many Kings of New York. Even me — every week someone said they the king.
“That’s all ego. It fucks up your ability to work with each other, to get money with each other, to embrace each other, to come up.”