Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Self-Assessment

When I used to think of Bad Boy Records, I instantly thought of Puff Daddy, Notorious BIG, and the term Mo Money Mo Problems. Since watching Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, the Bad Boy Records Documentary, those thoughts have now shifted. Now when I think of Bad Boy Records, I think of greatness, courage, consistency, and legacy. After watching the film, I thought about what all of those words mean for me and the journey I’m on.

Bad Boy’s climb to the top was far from easy. But with a leader like Sean Combs being the best was and still is the only option. Lori Ann Gibson, Diddy’s longtime creative director, made a statement that I’ll never forget. She said, “Greatness is complicated, it’s like going through fire and coming out as gold.” She then goes on to say, “During the moments of insecurity, the moments of doubt, the moments of fear, look it in the eye and use it as an advantage.”
This statement realized that I should be grateful for being on a journey to greatness. All of those feelings are the feelings I experience every day. Lori Ann just gave me permission to have those feelings but not allow them to stop me from pushing.

Diddy stated in the film that he knew that what he was doing was going to change the world. No one had done hip hop the way Bad Boy was doing hip-hop. The records were different, the way they dressed was different, and the vibe, the vibe was unmatched. Diddy dared to fight for his place and legacy in hip-hop and the world. Mary J.Blige stated that the most significant thing she took from him was to never be afraid or apologetic for what she was or who she was. What if we all dared to do the same? What would my life look if I decided to never be afraid or apologetic for who I am?

Jimmy Iovine said, “When you have the kind of consistency that Puff had you have to pay attention because a lot goes into it.” Jimmy was speaking of the incredible run Bad Boy had to turn out hit record after hit record. One thing I wish Puff would have talked more about is that mentality he had at the time. I’m not sure exactly what his feelings or thoughts were, but he was in the zone. Everything and everyone around him seemed to be clicking on all cylinders. I ask myself how I can be more consistent while still taking things up a notch each time? What type of laser focus is required to be that consistent? What are the habits of someone who’s that consistent?

Diddy changed the trajectory with some of the deals he landed in hip-hop. Clive Davis gave him a $40 million contract for Bad Boy. In the film, Nas recalls that when they all first started everyone wanted a crumb. Not Diddy, he wanted the whole pie, and he was coming for it. Over a half, a billion Records sold, a fashion brand, created the most popular vodka of our generation, a tv network, and he’s had his hands in countless other ventures. I say all this to show that Diddy has created a legacy for both Bad Boy Records and himself. People have many different opinions and feelings about him, but you can’t deny the stamp he has placed in history.

After watching the film, I started to think about what my vision is. What’s my legacy? What mark will I leave on this earth? I have some parts figured out and a few areas I’m still working on. One thing is for sure, I Can’t Stop, and I Won’t Stop.