Combs personifies this contradiction. And, although most people aware of the beefs in hip/hop in the 1990s that resulted in Tupac Shakur and B.I.G. being murdered (along with many other people), know that Marian “Suge” Knight the CEO of “Death Row Records” was and is a complete piece of scum, many people seem to give Diddy a pass. Or, at least view him differently than they do Knight. Maybe its because Comb’s public image is much more polished than Knight’s outward embrace of the Los Angeles gang culture. Maybe its just because people have capitalist trained short memories. Either way, people need to understand that as much as they fault Knight for the violence of the 90s, Diddy or Combs, or whatever, with his strong petti-bourgeoisie politic, is just as responsible.
The common narrative is that Diddy built a connection to Keefe D and the Compton Southside Crips in explicit reaction to Knight’s bullying from the PIRU (Bloods) dominated “Death Row” team. And, that may be partially true, but what’s undeniable is that Diddy was more than a reluctant player in ratcheting up the atmosphere of violence and intimidation that ended up taking lives. For example, before the conflict between “Death Row” and “Bad Boy” turned deadly, Diddy has been accused by multiple sources, including Keefe D, of offering the Southside Crips money to “take care of big CEO and Tupac.” And, there are several admissions from persons present at the time that Diddy immediately called Los Angeles after Tupac was shot in Las Vegas asking “was that us?!”
Why bring all of this up 25 years later? Because most people have such absent memories when it comes to accountability that all someone like Diddy has to do is pledge a little money to a petti-bourgeoisie African college in the Southern U.S. or pay for one of the funerals of any of the thousands of Africans immorally killed by police gestapos anywhere, and most people would be sold on preaching the immortality of this individual. Meanwhile, those who live on the frontlines fighting against injustice and have done so for years of unwavering service to humanity, these same people will act like those people have done absolutely nothing of value. This contradiction exists because all of us are conditioned by capitalism to value what it tells us to value. And, that means those who achieve “status” within this bourgeoisie system based on the criteria of “success” that capitalism dictates. Diddy has done that so the system gladly trots him out there today as something of a role model to the masses of African people. They want you to emulate him, but what they don’t tell you is that in order for you to do that it would mean you would have to engage in the same manipulative and exploitative practices against our people that rose him to whatever type of heights he’s supposed to occupy today.
Now, I do plenty of movement security work and I’ve done it for years. So, I know that the level of security applied to both Tupac and Biggie on the nights they were killed was Charmin tissue soft. Virtually nonexistent. In other words, there is absolutely no way anyone would ever be able to convince me that it made any type of logical sense for Biggie to be at a party in Los Angeles a mere number of months after Tupac was killed. This is especially true if you know all of the background intrigue related to Diddy’s dealings with the Southside Crips, the conflict with the PIRUs, and all of that information you will only truly understand when you study it much deeper than just watching “Vlad T.V.”
Diddy is no hero. Suge is no hero. All of them, Tupac, Biggie, etc., made the error of thinking they could turn our people’s suffering in these inner city communities into commodities to be bought and sold. Tupac and Biggie both believed in this dysfunctional model so much that each of them believed themselves to be a part of the gangsta underworld to the extent that they permitted themselves to be swept up into it in a way that neither could escape. They both will unfortunately have to pay the eternal price for that error, but you are mistaken if you believe that Diddy is any less responsible than Knight. Diddy, Knight, the American Descendants of Slavery (ADOs), and all these opportunists who commodify our suffering for a potential and/or actual payday are nothing more than the modern day house negroes who are always willing to conspire with our oppressors for their own benefit. And, they will continue to get away with it as long as you continue to keep making excuses for them.