When you get an email from one of Diddy’s assistants saying he wants you to interview him in 45 minutes, you tend to respond with something to the effect of, “OH MY GOD YES,” even if you were about to leave your office to live your life (this is a joke, music writers have no lives).
Turns out Diddy’s got a new TV network called Revolt, and he needs some hosts, and he wants you to be one of those hosts. He’s holding a social media contest where you submit a video about why he should pick you. The rules are simple: make a video, upload it to any social network, give it the tag #IAmRevolt, then add a genre tag such as #HipHop, #EDM, or #Trap.
Diddy was so excited about his new TV network that he called us about it last night to tell us about it, plus Burning Man, plus how he has known A$AP Ferg since he was a baby.
Noisey: Tell me about Revolt.
Diddy: I said I think gone are the days of the VJs, I think that, y'know, we're looking for something that's different. We're purposely wanna make sure that we are totally different than MTV, Fuse, BET, you guys (laughs). We wanna be Revolt, you know? We want the on-air personalities to have a certain look, have a certain feel, a certain aesthetic. But also a certain knowledge and credibility about the music and a certain work ethic that it takes to be a journalist and not just a model reading off a teleprompter. And so we want kids that's like, from the legal age of working, of 15, of 16, to the mid-twenties. Because that's the future of music. And it's time that we start investing in the future of music and start training and start giving a platform of freedom, and that's what Revolt is about. It's for the fans by the fans, and for the artist, by the artist. It's not my network. There's a freedom and a fearlessness and a truth and an honesty that needs to return to music.
Being a journalist, being an on-air personality is not an easy thing to do. But we don't have the fear to put somebody on and give them a chance and nurture them and let them make mistakes because I'm gonna be making mistakes, as the person presenting Revolt. And you're gonna see this all in real-time. And I described our first day, we're about to launch, it's gonna be exciting. Our first couple of days and months—but we're gonna be fucking up! And it's gonna be great television. And you're gonna see us grow and you're gonna give us suggestions and it's gonna be in real-time and it's something you've never seen before. So the faces and the actual voices and the reporters and the approach that we're doing, we want those people to be special. And we feel like you can't get that from people who just want to be stars. You have to get that from people who love music. We may have somebody up there that's, you know, not the typical look. They like to eat cake. They may be, you know, 200 pounds, but they have inner beauty. We may have somebody that's Muslim, somebody that's an Orthodox Jew, you know. Any color, gay, straight, whatever!
Like being in the trenches…
We want somebody, we want to have a true reflection of this new world revolution that's going on.
Tell me about how social media is going to be integrated into this search.
Yeah. We kind of… we run on a concept of tempo. We're very competitive. We're not afraid to push the gold button. We wanna get it up quicker than anyone else and we want it to be as authentic as we can. And we want to be able to do things that only we can do and get access that only we can get. And if we all have the access, we see it in a different way. So even if, you guys may have some cameras in a room, and we may have some cameras, or you maybe ask questions, we just wanna ask the questions in a different way, know what I'm saying? And we are social by design. Right now, we'll be in, you know, we'll be in over 20 million homes by launch but we're gonna be available on hundreds of millions of devices. And that's a huge amount of power if you do it in an authentic and credible way
Cool. Tell me, you were recently at Burning Man. Was that related to Revolt?
I mean, what I'm doing is just living my life as a person and even though I'm Puff Daddy or P Diddy, whatever you wanna call me, people have these stereotypes that about me. But as a person I'm always in search of an experience and of knowledge and I'm always the person that's gonna probably show up where you least expect me to show up because, you know, I'm just living my life. And that's more what that was about, it has nothing to do with Revolt or publicity or anything. And that was a beautiful experience for me. You know, that's it.
Tell me when you feel genuinely inspired.
I feel genuinely inspired when I actually see the truth. When I see something that isn't done with an ulterior motive out of what's being done. When that person is caught up in the moment. And they're lost. They're blacked out, they have left reality and planet earth. That inspires me.
Have you listened to Trap Lord?
Trap Lord. Yeah. A$AP Ferg. A$AP Ferg is my nephew.
Yeah, Dee Ferg's his father. We were extremely close friends, we were all in the gang called the Same Gang in Harlem when we were growing up. I used to carry A$AP Ferg—I can't carry him around now, I'm telling my age a little bit. I used to carry A$AP Ferg around in both my arms. In Harlem. So I'm very proud of him.
He’s the next generation.
Yeah, yeah yeah. I mean, that's from Harlem, you know what I'm saying? We don't deserve the credit, but we're from Harlem. We're tryna, in a sense, are proud big brothers of him and the whole ASAP movement in Harlem.
That's incredible to hear.
Yeah, no doubt. And when you speak to A$AP Ferg, ask him about the Same Gang. One of the things people don't understand, I know more than people think I probably would know about music and I love it.
And I think, hopefully if anything, that's what I wanna get across about Revolt, is that I love music and I feel like I have a responsibility to protect the future of music and give artists and the fans a real platform that's not controlled.
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