Diddy and DJ Khaled have been around long enough to see how streaming has changed the music industry.
The two hip-hop stars sit down with Rolling Stone for a special “Musicians on Musicians” edition. Diddy, 49, and Khaled, 43, both shared their thoughts on what streaming and the digital age mean for music.
“Now you could make something and five seconds later [put it out]. That has given artists more freedom and made music more global. The transition has made hip-hop the number-one genre of music in the world,” Diddy shares. “At the same time, the process is different.”
“The intention is different. [In 1994], it was based more on impact than numbers,” he continues. “The plaques meant a lot, but it was the impact that your music was having on the streets and in the community. It wasn’t a numbers race.”
Diddy says that is no longer the case: “You can sneak into the industry now and be the kids playing around, not taking it seriously. They can wind up being a Grammy Award-winning, stadium-selling-out star. It’s a game where anything can happen. The rules have changed.”
Khaled agrees, noting how music used to be more of a guerilla movement.
“Back in the day, it was more word of mouth,” Khaled chimes in. “It was the impact. [Now] there’s no middleman. You can go straight to the consumer, the fans. It’s really on you and your talent.”
Khaled also showers Diddy in praise. He called Diddy “the blueprint.”
“I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the things I’m doing now if it wasn’t for Puff Daddy,” Khaled says. “I remember starting as a DJ and turning into a promoter. He opened those doors. From hitmaker to businessman, as a hustler, as a father, the drive he has inspires me.”
Diddy has plenty of good things to say about Khaled as well.
“I thought I was an inspirational person. You know how you have to practice what you preach? [Khaled] really taught me that,” Diddy says. “He sees me. He sees the positive energy that I try to put out in the universe.”
“He’s a constant reminder of, like, ‘I haven’t heard from you lately. Make sure your spirit stay up.’ I learned self-love [from him],” Diddy adds. “It gave me instructions on some things that maybe I was lacking [from] being such a work machine.”