A Journey from 1997 to 2017's "Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Documentary."

By Isoul H. Harris

 

S eptember 29, 1997. Bill Clinton was President of the United States. Microsoft released Internet Explorer 4. And it was the night that I lied my way into the super-exclusive, grand opening party of Sean “Puffy” Combs’s first restaurant, Justin’s.

I was not in the “industry.” I was a graduate student at NYU. But, a friend in Los Angeles knew my ambitions.

My friend called the restaurant, pretended to be an editor at Essence and convinced the manager to go outside and pluck me from the other side of the velvet rope. I quickly made my way to the front by confidently pushing aside the aggressive paparazzi, fellow crashers, and requisite chickens.

Moments later, I was inside.

In a suit slightly swallowing his thin frame, Puffy proudly greeted his guests. Mike Tyson was sauntering about with two plates piled high with collard greens and candied yams. Johnny Cochran devoured fried chicken with cunning skill. A pre-cosmetic surgery Lil Kim, draped in Chanel, ate cornbread and black-eyed peas. Missy Elliot, Maxwell, Jay-Z, and Jermaine Dupri moved about the room. With four bodyguards in tow, Mariah entered like Moses, parting the room like The Red Sea, with her bottle of Cristal held in hand like a staff. Carey had the #2 song in the country with “Honey” (co-produced by Puffy); The late Notorious B.I.G.’s “Mo Money, Mo Problems” was #6; and Puff Daddy and Faith Evans’s “I’ll Be Missing You” was #9. Bad Boy ruled Billboard, and that night, with the opening of his first restaurant, Sean Combs began his transformation into an aspirational lifestyle brand.

Fast forward 20 years, and Sean “Diddy” Combs has produced Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, a film, directed by Daniel Kaufman, chronicling the meteoric rise, culture-shaping achievements, and life-altering struggles of Combs and his label.

“Once we dropped ‘Juicy,’ we became the fastest growing boutique label in history,” he boasts in the film, originally conceived as a documentary of the Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour.

“I was a big fan of Madonna’s Truth or Dare,” Diddy recently told Beats 1 Radio’s Zane Lowe.

Whereas Madonna used Truth or Dare to challenge social constructs surrounding sexuality and champion individuality, however, Diddy’s agenda, even when he was “dancing all up in the videos” or hosting the Ghetto Fabulous Glitterati that night in 1997 at Justin’s, was always to elevate his people, his culture.

“[He taught me] to not be apologetic for who I was,” says Mary J. Blige. And Jay Z, who recently inked a $30M partnership between Tidal and Sprint, recalls the eye-opening deal that Diddy negotiated with then Arista Records President Clive Davis to launch Bad Boy. “With [that] $40 million check… Puff taught us our worth. His movement opened up the door for us.”

This film, Episode One of a series, is a love letter to the Gen Xers who have supported Combs’s light speed journey from Uptown Records intern to topping the 2017 Forbes Celebrity 100 List ($130M). And it’s a bombastic, gorgeously shot masterclass for Millennials, depicting — with surprising honesty — the work and multi-leveled sacrifice it takes to top. “It’s Black Excellence…Black Glamour…Black Rich,” says Combs. “I can make anything happen.”

At this point, we would be a fool not to believe him.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop opens in theaters in LA & NY April 23, available on Apple Music April 25 and Apple TV | iTunes July 7th.
 
@isoulharris is the former Editor-In-Chief of UPTOWN Magazine.

This article was originally published on Cassiuslife.com.

Photo by SAF / Splash News

  • soujourn_erets

    Great writer.

  • https://twitter.com/WhitewomenKILL White Women Invented Slavery

    Reality of Black Folks with money
    https://youtu.be/N2h8yTs_NyM

  • T3

    Agreed.

  • soujourn_erets

    So descriptive that I just ordered takeout. Made a brotha hungry lol

  • Lisa daniels

    Not to sprinkle of sand nor shade.

  • T3

    Lmao I understand....enjoy

  • Sexy CJ

    Sean “Puffy” Combs.....has produced....'Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop'......a film chronicling his meteoric rise, culture-shaping achievements, and life-altering struggles of him and his label.

    Combs Says.....“It’s Black Excellence….Black Glamour…..Black Rich"......

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/47b34aa02c774298f2cd4414ad49d4295a87a3f527f41f713cd74f59534b2d12.gif

  • Louisville Is4TheBirds

    After this, I need a No Limit/Master P bio to rep the south.

  • dontgetblocked

    I should care but I don't. It seems too soon for this film...or maybe I just don't give a darn. Puffy has such a messy history that it needs to be depicted as well. He's a major success but he's stepped on quite a few people including Biggie to get there. I'd like to see both sides of the story.

  • hottlanta

    Mike Tyson was sauntering about with two plates piled high with collard greens and candied yams. Johnny Cochran devoured fried chicken with cunning skill. A pre-cosmetic surgery Lil Kim, draped in Chanel, ate cornbread and black-eyed peas.
    _______________________________________
    I know. Felt like Thanksgiving. But to say pre-cosmetic Lil Kim, so much shade a need a umbrella.

  • soujourn_erets

    lol word.

  • BacktolurkingIgo

    From lawsuits to being fired to Forbes #1 he's been blessed and blessed some others, his poor artists....his artists and their hits still are in rotation. I'd watch it.

  • lilred1

    Reppin Gen X ?

  • Darkandlovely617?

    Happy friday

  • soujourn_erets

    Thanks, Likewise, luv. I hope all is well

  • Lorenzo Chaps

    Be persistent. Stay driven. No one should ever feel bad about having that fire to succeed and build their own platform. Puffy had no fear. Andre Harrell fired him, but guess who works for Puffy now?

  • Coy little wink

    Lol @ requisite chickens....

    1997 was a movie...so much was going on in my life...I had the pleasure to meet Diddy in 1998....I will be watching this!

    * all those pretty memories

  • Ms.Vanilla

    All lies of the enemy. My self worth is not how much money I have. I belong to God... That's my self worth.

  • V Dubb

    Sprinkle that around I say

  • ShadesofEMPRESS

    I think I am going to watch this. I love documentaries but not so much celebrities but I will watch this one.

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    Sean is starting to look like an old church sissy. Speaking of sissies, tomorrow is the gay pride parade in Chicago. By Tuesday, they'll be a spike in sexually transmitted diseases insurance claims. I guess they're proud to be tainted. ?

  • Desi

    AMEN, Ms.. Vanilla. Cuz we all know he sold his God given soul for dat money.

  • JerseyMom

    I can't knock his hussle tho minus any alleged freaky sex ish.

    Sidebar: Sandra, you just did a cut and paste. LOL

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Chile!

  • speakinmymind

    He is referring to worth as it relates to demanding more money in contracts and the business side of the record industry...like how I only look for jobs in a certain salary range cuz I know my worth and won't settle for less than what I deserve.

    It ain't that deep.

  • Ms.Vanilla

    It IS that deep. The enemy keeps our eyes on money so we won't realize just how deep it really is. But thanks for sharing.

  • Ms.Vanilla

    ?...Yes she did. But in her defense, it DOES say by "Isoul H. Harris"

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    CW: Sean is starting to look like an old church sissy.

    *dead*

    Boy you want me to get a preplanned funeral asap, don't you?

    I hate downlow Negroes like Puffy or whatever name he's going by these days. I wish they would all die.

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    Trust me, there are a LOT of downlow queens out there.

  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy

    He killed his so called best friend to get to where he is. Word on the curb is he can't sleep at night and is extremely paranoid , so much so that he practices Santeria to protect him self from his own demons. Diddy has major trust issue because he's a damn snake himself.

  • Queen B

    I cant wait til this drop!! But is there a way i can view this on tv instead of my ipad? ?

  • HalleMerry

    Yea,cuz now I want black eye peas and cornbread while remembering the old lil Kim.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011
  • Keesh5000

    Yallllllll....they acting a azz in Cali!!! EBT AWARDS WEEKEND and Meek Mill homies jumped out the car and beat up Safaree.. Alllllll on video. Should have seen the look on Meek face. ..niccas wit money...what is you doing babbbyyyy

  • soujourn_erets

    Sad what happened to her

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    I know and I keep running into them.

    *sigh*

  • hopeless?

    I need him to take that jacket off and burn it ???

  • ReadingIsFundamental4Real

    I'm going to church tomorrow. Plan on sitting in the back in prayer. Not trying to hear the outside noise.
    Diddy, you might wanna try it sometime.

  • Allihave2say

    Is that why he appears to be aging rapidly and sickly looking? Even Kim Porter in the Father's Day photo looks old and sickly.

  • disqus_MNq5Mrn4CF

    word up

  • Ni Ni

    The Lord sho works in mysterious ways. I was laying up here drinking my mikes hard lemonade debating if I should go to church tomorrow. I guess He used you as a vessel. I intend to do the same, will sit in the back, so i can get outta there quick. Ain into hugging folks i don't know.

  • Ni Ni

    Why am i not surprised ??

  • Jen_no_juice

    I like documentaries but idk if I trust Puffy, Sean, or Diddy enough to be truthful

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    So who going to see?

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    Money can't buy class.

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    I wish they would all die.

    ---
    Damn tell us how u really feel ??

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    Now that is a come up story

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    I wish if ppl did stories on mega artist, they would put money into it. I really didn't care for crazysexycool Doc and Aaliyah I didn't watch. I was an Aaliyah fanatic and wasn't going to be insulted

  • Rayne

    Ain't that some shit. Read that.

  • BacktolurkingIgo

    Yes the EBT awards are upon us.

  • Sexy CJ

    Happy Saturday Afternoon.........Enjoy Your Weekend !!!...........

    https://youtu.be/toRdS9a7_EU

  • https://twitter.com/Chicagowise Chicagowise

    In my lifetime, I've met two DL freaks who used to bring their children to gay hangout spots. One of them used to suck d/(k in a public restroom while his tiny son played on the swings in nearby playground. He was ultimately arrested for child endangerment and public indecency.

  • Quitedeliteful

    I'm definitely interested....

  • Keesh5000

    Diddy Documentary..........ISSA LIE

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    I been needing to do this

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    I blame nicki for meek mill. U had not heard fro that nig until she got with him. She should have left him under that rock

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    It still stuff we don't know bout that case.

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    Hey I emailed u

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    What happened to her?

  • ReadingIsFundamental4Real

    I feel ya. Sometimes I listen and sometimes I don't. But I sit there and pray and take time to myself to have a nice chat with God.

  • soujourn_erets

    ?????????

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Well I am glad he was arrested.

    *yuck*

  • ShadesofEMPRESS

    I so agree with this here. That Aaliyah one was horrible.

  • Faithz

    Can't stand Diddy rat face as.

  • Faithz

    Yea Diddy you can make anything happen but
    a Marriage License.

  • Faithz

    Very true.

  • Faithz

    Lmao ,,,Old church Sissy, Looool.

  • Faithz

    Help us Jesus, my goodness.

  • Faithz

    Me too they need to throw his as under the Jail!

  • Faithz

    Amen I know that's right.

  • Faithz

    So very true.

  • Faithz

    Sure did!!

  • Faithz

    Yes indeed , and many of them Millions was made off the back of Artist that he stole from.

  • Faithz

    Omg

  • Faithz

    Shut yo rat face up.

  • Disqus_year4016

    Who cares!

  • NYTimes#1Bestseller

    Diddy looks like his breath STANKS!

  • VanillaCaramel2shotsExpresso

    And allowing the Concubine Mothers to take a picture with Concubine Cassie. Or dine with her....

  • VanillaCaramel2shotsExpresso

    Hope Weak Meak is sent back to jail.... Nikki don't want him . Nikki don't want either of them, Safaree should sue the mess out Weak Mill , and his goons. Please don't let Safaree have on his fur coat and no shirt outfit today. Nikki don't rap about this .... please don't !!!

  • Toya Redd

    Seriously though, Daddy is to be respected for his business acumen. On top of that, he dresses to the 10's and seems kind and lovable, down to earth, and a good father. I give him props for all he's done and as an artist he's the consummate party maker. Love him long time!

  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy

    Blessed? By whom? The devil? Not everything is a blessing. Diddy is a rat that has bodyguards around him 24/7 because he's a marked man. He's a thief , a murderer and a con man. He is the most successful bad boy artist period due to his thievery. How the hell is he still making money off of Biggie after he had him murdered? You have to be an evil SOB to kill your own friend and shed tears as if you don't know what happen. Hell he had Shine locked up and deported for something he didn't even do just so his slimy ass wouldn't get locked up.

  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy

    I am not here for P shitty and his lies. https://youtu.be/N_zOaKJsqVY

  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy
  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy
  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy
  • Toya Redd

    I think she had too much plastic surgery done to enhance her looks while wanting acceptance into the pop crossover music world and trying to fit the image of a startlet with the looks and body image to garner movie roles, more videos, and commercial success.

    There were countless rapid changes she made which confused everyone and since she soon became unrecognizable with the weight gain, she became essentially overlooked since she didn't look like K the rap girl anymore.

    That's the best way I can explain it, no disrespect to her but that's my opinion. She was a sexy, pretty girl with mad skills and swag,. She made a lot of money and I think her success kinda went to her head, or maybe she didn't have anyone to steer her in the the right direction with what to do with it. Anyway, it's good to see she's still around and living well.

  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy

    His chickens are coming home to roost because people are starting to talk. A lot of death and destruction surrounds him. His artist either end up dead, locked up, strung out or just disappear never to seen from or heard from again. I guess he really is a Bad Boy just like his late ain't shit father.

  • BacktolurkingIgo

    Whether he deserved all the blessings is up for debate as you see I see his poor artists and I understand that but nonetheless he's been blessed with deserved or not. I've noticed some of the evil and stingy often get blessings instead of the opposite of it. The killing I know nothing about.

  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy

    Well his blessing are certainly not from the most high I can tell you that. The most high isn't the only one blessing people thats for sure. More like manifesting destiny and robbing anyone that comes with in arms lengthen of him. He's just like his father , which in this case isn't a good thing.

  • Sexy CJ

    Damn.....U Really Don't Like Sean John Combs.....Huh?....

  • Pamela

    Toya, me love Puffy long time too. Lol

  • Pamela

    SN: I'm so mad right about now. Now they dragging Pac name through the mud, talking about John Singleton initial movie script saying Pac was raped while incarcerated. Don't believe this sh#t. They trying to besmich my boy Pac. I can't with bullsh$t Hollywood. Sorry, had to vent.

  • Scromes1212

    I was tripping cause when they asked John Singleton he didn't deny it smh Pac had stop messing with John before he died anyway.

  • HIS4EVA

    yea she knows all his secrets

  • missmiami305

    I thought the movie was wonderful. It was very poetic and the actor did a great job portraying Pac. He had the mannerisms down packed. During some angles of the film he looked like Pac. Afeni was played with dignity and I loVe

  • missmiami305

    Benny Boom did a great job. I think Pac fell out with John after Juice or around that time

  • missmiami305

    I want to see it. Will it be on netflix? I don't have Apple Tv

  • VanillaCaramel2shotsExpresso

    Pac himself denied this, he said in an interview that little girls wrote him in on apologizing that happened. He said he wrote them all back saying he didn't. Wendellyn Williams announced that in New York on the radio and that rumor spread, she was absolutely ratchet then and still is. He used to be friends with her up til then . I believe if they had of raped him he would have been hurt badly because was little and he would have fought hard. Folks are definitely trying to disparage his name and his mom , insinuating she approved of John Singlintons script! I don't believe it!

  • http://thedevereauxshow.com/ Ms.Devereaux

    Also they tried to say his mother was a lesbian ???

  • http://thedevereauxshow.com/ Ms.Devereaux

    Yes but the guy who wrote or directed it said that this was a trilogy who PAC was who PAC wanted to be and what PAC could have been ? In other words he mad up a bunch of shit and used PAC name to garner views and an audience. He made that statement after Jada pointing out some things that just wasn't true and that never happened the only thing about movies like this is 90% of the population thinks that it's factual after all how could it not be true if they were able to put it in a movie. Not realizing that biopics and biographies are wrttien all the time mostly by people who never even met the person they are writing about and never met anyone close to them. Don't believe me ask Obama! Someone wrote a book about him doing drugs and being bisexual

  • missmiami305

    Benny Boom did a great job considering nobody wanted to provide any input. We have enough Pac documentaries and this was so different. I loved it and suggest everyone see it for themselves.

  • http://thedevereauxshow.com/ Ms.Devereaux

    They wonder why no A list celebrities show up because it always Uncle Tom cabin conning and foolery going on at the highest levels

  • http://thedevereauxshow.com/ Ms.Devereaux

    Never forget the nanny that said Kim stay powdering her nose and she wasn't talking about make up!

  • Ladyvil

    No straight woman cares, but I'm sure his 'butt buddies' an 'idolaters' will be on deck!

  • freelancepimp .

    Look I like Tupac as much as the next person but Tupac mother had her ups and downs. I am not saying she was lesbian but wouldn't be surprised if she did participate in a threesome, which still wouldn't make her a lesbian. If it's true that at one time she was hooked on crack then all bets are off on anything that she might have done.

  • Ladyvil

    This movie was to premier Nov 2016 b 4 Afeni Shakur was killed by the illuminati/govt! I'm sur this movie was edited an changed after her death....who has the money to fight them now that she's gone?! IJS!

    #WakeUpanStayWoke!!

  • Ladyvil

    ABSOLUTELY a lie which is why she was killed an the movie released 6 months AFTER her death. Like Pac she was killed by our govt!! But IJS!!

  • Mark mcharm

    You clicked on the story

  • Mark mcharm

    That was well known in the panther party angela davis might have munched a carpet or two also that was the free love era so anything went. but they still were down for the cause.

  • Mark mcharm

    you do

  • Mark mcharm

    Worship a white god but disrespect a black man ?????yeah that 's about right with us.

  • MsPam

    Why is Little Kim a person of interest in a robbery?!???

  • missmiami305

    True! They have to do something to sale tickets. The only flaws I saw was the Jada and Pac storyline. Pretty much everything else I ot watched in other documentaries were in the film.

  • Ladyvil

    FO B**ch cause this ain't what you want....I dont do f**k boys!

  • Mark mcharm

    You click on the story then complain retardation is kicking in i take it ? ???

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    I understand but everyone always talking bout it. She loves that way she look so y is everyone so worried about it! It's ridiculous and she still a legend. It's not that deep

  • Allihave2say

    Oh yeah! They look aged. Diddy is concerning me because he really looks sick. A couple of months ago he was bloated and his face was huge now it's flat, dark and sickly.

  • BacktolurkingIgo

    Lol yes

  • missmiami305

    ????

  • missmiami305

    Heyyyyyyyy boo????

  • missmiami305

    Did he have a life insurance policy on BIG?

  • missmiami305

    Yessssss

  • missmiami305

    Yes in deed

  • Disqus_year4016

    No I don't. He ain't giving me no money.

  • Allihave2say

    Sandra what's the scope on Diddy's weight and his new sickly look?

  • hottlanta

    I don't blame him. Some women are foul. They will date him knowing he is busy. They will be riding in his private jet and enjoying everything that goes with his name. Then soon as he marries you, you gonna start complaining by saying he ain't never home, etc. etc. then wanna divorce for irreconcilable differences and take half of his billions. Sean be like Oprah if you wanna keep your money stay single. Get the sex and send them home. When people start saying money ain't important they never had any.

  • Coffee1st

    Me neither. And I hate when the pastor tells everyone to make some type of declaration to the person sitting next to them.
    :shrugs: That's why I don't go.

  • Coffee1st

    I believe it. Nevah liked this dude. Always felt his success was ill gotten. Not hating, just calling it like I discerned it.

  • Coffee1st

    Sad. I grew up with her. Didn't have a friendship, she's a few years older than me. Went to the same church and high school as her. Really sweet.... at that time.

  • EMILY POST

    I love the hustle of Diddy.... He is making his own Damn documentary about himself... He been riding his own wave for like +20 years. Now thats hustle... I have to say his videos made black people look great....

  • Ni Ni

    Slap ya neighbor and tell em so n so ?. But dont let that deter you. Find you a spot in there where people less likely to sit.

  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy

    Yep! Sicking!

  • ReadingIsFundamental4Real

    How the fuk you know the race of my God? Shut the fuk up.