At this year’s BET Awards, Ye, commonly known as Kanye West, has spoken in honor and appreciation of his long-time friend and well-wisher, Sean “Diddy” Combs. The latter has contributed to the legacy of the Black musician community since the early 90s and has been a steadfast advocate of entrepreneurial ventures. Combs went on to win the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Legacy of Sean “Diddy” Combs
Sean Combs’s life has been pockmarked with tragic deaths and legal battles. His father was murdered when he was just 3. After dropping out of college, Combs started as an intern at Uptown Records in NYC and within a year rose to the rank of Vice President. However, he was fired in 1993 and went on to start his own record label Bad Boys Entertainment. The label gained him an industry-wide reputation as a rap impresario after he discovered and successfully launched street hustler/rapper, Christopher Wallace aka the Notorious B.I.G.
By 1994, Wallace was a rising rap star and Bad Boys had signed a $15M deal with Arista Records. However, Combs’s star rapper, Notorious B.I.G. was murdered in the spring of ’97. Combs released his first Grammy-winning single “I’ll Be Missing You” later that year featuring the voice of Wallace’s widow. Combs also won two Grammies in 1998 for his debut rap album No Way Out and launched a clothing line, “Sean John”.
In ’99, Combs was found partially liable for the stampede at the City College charity basketball event that he had organized in 1991. He was also involved in second-degree harassment claims and a shooting incident at a Manhattan nightclub although Combs was later acquitted of all the charges. Rising out of his legal troubles, Combs released his third Grammy claimer with his 2004 collaboration with Nelly on “Shake Ya Tailfeather”. Combs was later honored as the menswear designer of the year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Kanye West Honors Sean Combs at the 2022 BETs
Kanye West came out on stage at the 2022 BET Awards with his face fully covered in a black mask, shades, and a cap. In honor of his friend Sean Combs winning the Lifetime Achievement Award, West claimed the platform to speak out a few graceful words on stage:
“How do we crown our kings? How do we appreciate our kings?
I go to him for advice to this day. He inspires so many of my choices, so many of my life choices. My wife choices. Thanks for that, Puff.
You know, I took a little hiatus. I said, I just want to declare myself legally dead for a year. I just want to be off the grid and Puff is pretty persistent, but I had to think, bro, it’s like, people get amnesia. Like I should never have Puff have to ever call more than one time. Any of us in this room if Puff ever need us, we need to jump and be there. This man has been through [and] survived a lot of stuff and broke down a lot of doors so we can be standing … he broke down so many doors of classism, taste, swag. Puff, if I never told you I love you, you’re my brother.”
Internet hailed Ye’s rare appearance with tweets appreciating his bounce back from the ugly Kim Kardashian divorce, his inspirational speech honoring Sean Combs, and his wardrobe choice:
— ZONE23 (@ZONE23WORLD) June 27, 2022
I couldn’t get past, “how do we appreciate our kings”. pic.twitter.com/4tZ8BuV67Q
— Cancel_Rasins🚫🍇 (@leodipesci) June 27, 2022
— 🌞 (@sailingsavior) June 27, 2022
It’s baby face staring at him 👀 😭😭😭
— Jewel (@Truly_Juliette) June 27, 2022
Is it winter?
— for the arts (@Jenal5Lp) June 27, 2022
— NOT MY PRESIDENT (@lisa71092753) June 27, 2022
Sean Combs performed his Grammy-winning single “I’ll Be Missing You” with Faith Evans and Maverick City Choir at the award event in dedication to his late ex Kim Porter who passed away in 2018. Combs also contributed a million dollars each to Howard University (his alma mater), Deon Sanders, and Jackson State during his acceptance speech.