(L-R) Heather Parry, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Scott Goldman
Photo: Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images
Diddy & Heather Parry On 'Can't Stop Won't Stop' Doc | "Required Listening" Podcast
From the early 1990s to the present day, GRAMMY-winning multi-disciplined rapper/producer, label executive, actor, and global entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs has become an industry legend.
Diddy leveraged his once-nascent Sony Music imprint label Bad Boy Entertainment into a diversified business empire that touches everything from music recording, release and promotion to independent lifestyle brand ventures like clothing lines and premium distilled spirits. His impressive rise to power from an unpaid record label intern to imprint label owner to music industry mogul — along the way becoming the second wealthiest hip-hop artist in history (recently dethroned from the No. 1 spot by Jay-Z) — has now been encapsulated in Can't Stop Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story, an intriguing feature-length documentary film that is the subject of the latest episode of "Required Listening," the music podcast produced by HowStuffWorks and the GRAMMY Museum in partnership with the Recording Academy.
Produced by Live Nation film/TV division head Heather Parry, the film also centers around the Brooklyn, N.Y., show dates of the 2016 Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, which saw Diddy rejoined with artists such as Lil' Kim, Faith Evans, Carl Thomas, French Montana, and others whose careers he helped build in the early days of Bad Boy Entertainment. Director Daniel Kaufman has described the documentary as, "a fierce pursuit of the American dream."
"[The film] really just really shows the embodiment of the dream and the hustle, and you get to see that through an unfiltered lens." — Sean "Diddy" Combs
"I think the title's so appropriate," said Parry of the film. "Because Puff literally doesn't stop, doesn't take no for an answer. I would sum it up like it's a beautiful, legendary history of a man that just doesn't quit …and I think that is the American dream."
Reflecting on how she got involved in the project, Parry explains that she and Diddy first met over two decades earlier, when she was interning at MTV. Years later, when the time came for Diddy to put together his Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, Parry herself had just started the then-brand-new Live Nation Productions film division of the entertainment conglomerate. When the word came down that Live Nation would be promoting Diddy's tour, the decision to put a crew together to document the experience almost made itself.
"We moved at lightning speed. We decided to do [the film] and we had like three weeks to find a director, and put it on it, and go." — Heather Parry
"I think of my biggest records, or hits, or success has been when the audience is able to be vulnerable," Diddy explained, responding to GRAMMY Museum Executive Director and "Required Listening" host Scott Goldman's praise for the depth of insight and emotion the film was able to achieve. "I knew if I was going to step out in this type of medium …I just wanted to tell the truth."
Digging deeper into the broader goals behind creating Can't Stop Won't Stop, Diddy added, "I wanted to change the narrative, just in general, of how hip-hop is perceived, and also – we as black men and women – how we're perceived based on what we see through media or the constant images of negativity that we see. I wanted to change the narrative and show the new narrative of strength, of black strength, of black excellence, of shining a positive light on the positive things that we do, the magic that we have, the brilliance that we have, and do it in an unapologetic way."