Sean “Diddy” Combs has seen it all. Or at least, he once thought he did. The man is a walking, talking, breathing embodiment of an inspirational quote, fully capable of channeling his infectious energy and funneling it through whoever’s within earshot. Say or think what you will, but the man once referred to as “Puff” is a master motivator, aptly known the world over for knowing how to get the people going.
Prior antics range from comical (i.e. notoriously asking Da Band to walk across a bridge for cheesecake) to bordering on the line of obsessive for those who can’t — or choose not to — relate to his vision. But for those who’ve ever had a dream that they see clearer than anything else placed in front of them, Diddy’s words may be the motivational playbook that many creatives and self-starters have needed the entire time.
Amidst the numerous instances of success that many can cite verbatim with no problem throughout Diddy’s career, the Harlem, New York-native continues to be as hungry and driven as ever. He sits and preps for the debut of his newest corporate venture — The REVOLT Summit, a three-city conference tour with performances, panels, and discussions aimed with the sole purpose of celebrating and honoring the hip-hop community while providing rising up-and-comers with the experience of learning from the game’s greatest leaders up close and in person.
“To give these same people who are dedicating their lives to this culture and make this their careers some of the advice and guidance that I have received in my lifetime, I think that’s priceless,” Diddy tells Teen Vogue. “Having access to that information that isn’t common knowledge and getting that right opportunity is what put me in the position to achieve so much, and it’s up to me and people like me to provide that same opportunity to those who come after us.”
While the Summit has been taking up most of his time and energy as of late, it’s not the biggest obstacle he looks forward to facing.
“I think [this] has been, or will be, the craziest thing I’ve been through in my life in the most positive and blessed way, raising my little girls into young teenage women,” Diddy states in his trailer outside of Brooklyn’s famous King’s Theater. With the sudden passing of longtime ex-girlfriend and mother of three of his children Kim Porter earlier this year, the mogul immediately shifted all of his focus to his family, first, everything else second.
His environment swirls around him as staffers frantically prepare and execute the night’s proceedings, but it’s the topic of his three daughters, Chance, who’s turned 13 by the time this piece has been released, and 12-year-old twins D’Lila Star and Jesse James that has his attention, causing his world-famous piercing stare to soften with joy and adulation.
“It’s been a day-to-day thing that’s been teaching me patience and teaching me grace, and I’ve been blessed to be taught and mentored by the mothers of my children on how to take these next steps,” he says. “My entire world has been turned upside down over the last couple months, and I’ve realized that in doing a lot of praying and asking for prayers and guidance, that it’s going to take a village to surround us with that love and care.”
The world has seen Diddy be the proud father that he’s exemplified with his older sons, Quincy, Justin, and Christian, and how he has raised them to be responsible and upstanding young Black men, but it is the upcoming journey ahead that brings forth this new exuberant feeling of the unknown.
“I don’t know if you can really explain in words the happiness and joy that I feel. Any other answer would be false, I’m definitely in over my head,” Diddy declares with a slight chuckle, hesitating slightly to feel the power and weight of his words. “It’s like I’m going through the ultimate midlife crisis being a single father raising three teenage girls, but it’s love and nothing else. I truly feel like this is God’s way of making me into the best human I can become, it’s been life-changing.”
Being a father of six in 2019 also requires Diddy to be incredibly aware of not just the world around him, but the world that his children are growing up into. Never afraid to speak his mind on politics and policy with his famous VOTE OR DIE campaign in the early aughts, Diddy knows first hand what change looks like in the voice of the people.
“I feel like these upcoming elections are huge for our country’s and our world’s direction,” he says. “I hope the youth understand the importance and power of having a vote, having a say in who does what for them and not giving that away freely. It isn’t about following a particular political party or who your parents always voted for, it’s about who is affecting your life in a positive way. And if no one does that, then hold out until you find a candidate who does.”
We’ve seen many sides of Sean “Diddy” Combs throughout the years, and he manages to maintain his business aspirations and acts of cultural philanthropy all the while being the best father and inspiration he can be, it’s safe to say that we haven’t seen anything yet and that the best is yet to come. After all, he can’t stop, won’t stop.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue