Featured, Music, Pop Culture

Aliya S. King’s True Hip-Hop Stories: That Time Sean “Puffy” Combs Made Me Hate Him

Each time I speak to journalism students or millennial up-and-coming writers, I’m always asked the same questions: Who has been your favorite celebrity to interview? And who has been your least favorite?

My favorite celebrity interview is easy: Mariah Carey. In February 2005, I interviewed her over the course of two days in her NYC triplex penthouse. (The one she made famous in an episode of MTV Cribs.) Stay tuned for that. Tupac is involved.

But my least favorite celebrity? That’s tough. Honestly, there are so many celebrities I’ve met that could qualify as the absolute worst.

But if I’m being honest, there is one person who tops all when it comes to the ranking of OMG-please-get-me-out-of-here interviews.

Sean “Puff Daddy-Puffy-P. Diddy-Diddy-” Combs takes the award for Most Exasperating Person I Have Ever Had To Interview Ever.

There are three (yes, THREE) times that this man has made me want to pull my hair out. (Or better yet, his.)

Part One: That time I damn near went into labor in his trailer. And then got chased by the paparazzi.

2007. Los Angeles, California. I was pregnant with my now 8 year-old. I kept my pregnancy very hush-hush. I was a full time freelancer for Vibe, The Source and XXL. Rap magazines don’t give assignments to wobbly pregnant women no matter how much time they’ve got in the game. So I made all kinds of excuses not to meet with any of my editors in person.

I got an assignment for GIANT magazine, a cover story on Sean “Puff Daddy-Puffy-Puff-P.Diddy-Diddy-Combs. (My generation calls him Puff.)

I sighed when I got the call. I still hadn’t forgiven him for…well. I’ll tell you that next week.  Anyway, I hopped on the plane to LA. The plan was to interview him a few times over the course of a few days. LA was hotter than usual and I was grumpy and cranky and pregnant.

Day one came and went: no Puffy interview.

Day two came and went: no Puffy interview.

Day three came and went: no Puffy interview.

I called my editor and told him: I’m out. Flight’s tomorrow back to Jersey. Sorry this didn’t work out.

My editor asked me to stay an extra two days. Puff would be ready. Did I mention I was grumpy, cranky and pregnant? But I agreed. The next morning, Puff’s people sent a car to my hotel to bring me to the set of the music video he was shooting. (I’m pretty sure it was a song with Christina Aguilera from his Press Play album.)

I got to the set early. I was scheduled to interview Puff at 11 am, during a break in shooting and then once more during his lunch break.

11am came and went. No Puff.

Lunchtime came and went. Still no Puff.

I’m getting more and more pissed by the minute. The only place to sit was far away from where the action was. And out-of-sight meant out-of-mind so I stood up to make sure his people could see me waiting. Did I mention I was very pregnant?

FOUR PM AND NO PUFF.

FIVE PM AND NO PUFF.

SIX PM AND NO PUFF.

I called for my car to return, grabbed my stuff and left. I got in the back seat when the car pulled up and put my head back to rest.

I texted my editor: I’m out. I waited for ten hours. No Puff.

My editor called and begged me to go back. He said he had just spoken to Puff and he swore up and down he was ready.

“No,” I said firmly. “That’s just straight up disrespectful to keep me waiting that long.” You need to find another writer to do this story. I’m going home.”

At a red light, the driver’s cell phone rang. He answered it.

“No not yet,” he said.

“About 15 minutes,” he said.

“Okay, I will,” he said.

Then, when the light turned green, he hit a sharp U-turn.

“Is there traffic ahead?” I asked.

“No ma’am.”

“Then why are you turning around?”

“Mr. Combs has instructed me to bring you back.”

I sat up, tears springing to my eyes.

“NO,” I said. “Take me to my hotel!!”

The driver held up his phone.

“Ma’am, Mr. Combs said I have to—

“I don’t give a fuck WHAT he said. Take me to my hotel, now!”

No response. He sped back to the studio and pulled over to let me out.

“He’s waiting for you ma’am.”

I stayed in the car and called my editor. He asked me to please go back. I took a deep breath and wobbled back inside. Puff’s rep met me in the lobby and walked me out to Puffy’s trailer on the sound stage. She walked up the steps, knocked and then slowly opened the door. She asked someone if he was ready and then she stepped back and urged me to go inside.

Now, at this point in my career, I had perfected my First Few Seconds Of Meeting A Celebrity You Are About To Interview.

Here’s what you do.

1. You smile, not too big.

2. You look around at the entourage and give an apologetic sorry-to-interrupt wave to the room.

3. You keep your head down.

4. Sit where instructed.

5. Take out your stuff and get ready.

6. You don’t ask for anything or accept anything offered. Blend into the scenery and sit quietly until spoken to.

7. When the celebrity approaches, you stick out your hand and give a firm businesslike shake and you say Hey, I’m Aliya. Nice to meet you. Are you ready?

I didn’t do any of that shit when I walked in.

I pushed open the door and looked around the trailer.

“Is he ready?” I asked. Someone pointed to a back bedroom and said he would be out soon. I looked and saw Puff there, on the phone. I walked into the doorway and just stood there, glaring at him. Puff looked up and his eyes widened. He looked at my bulging belly and quickly got off the phone.

“Oh shit,” he said. “I ain’t know you was um—Shit. Sit down!”

He quickly pulled out a chair and eased me into it.

“So, you’ve been here since—

“Since 9 this morning,” I said, kicking off my shoes.

“I am so sorry,” Puff said.

An assistant brought in a tray of fresh fruit, Champagne and two flutes. He poured a glass and started to hand it to me.

“Oh. Wait. So no Champagne, right?” he asked.

I just looked at him.

“Right, right!” he said, moving the drinks and leaving the fruit.

I turned on my recorder, got out my questions and started the interview.

20 minutes later, the music video director sent someone to pick him up.

“Don’t move,” Puff said. “I’ll be back.”

90 minutes later, the video was wrapping up and Puff returned.

“Come with me,” he said. “We can finish up the interview at my spot.”

We went outside and his personal driver jumped out and held open the backdoor of Puff’s Bentley and we climbed inside. I noticed he had customized plates that said Puff (or was it Diddy? Or Puffy? Or P. Diddy? I don’t remember. )

“You aiight?” he asked.

“I’m okay.”

We pulled up to the Chateau Marmont and walked back to his private bungalow. I got comfortable in the kitchen and we finished the interview. By the time we were done, it was 2 in the morning. (He made me listen to the entire album.) I was utterly exhausted.

As I started packing up, I picked up my phone to get a car service to pick me up.

“I got you,” said Puff. “My driver is gonna take you back to your hotel.”

I went outside, got in the backseat of the Bentley and promptly fell asleep. I woke up when I felt my body sliding across the seat and I bumped into the car door.

“What’s happening!?” I asked the driver.

“I’m so sorry,” he said. “Paparazzi behind me. They drive crazy on purpose.”

“Why are they following us?! There’s no one in here!”

“They don’t know that,” said the driver. “Usually Mr. Combs is in the car.”

I remembered the personalized plates and shook my head. Who does that? The driver continued speeding. There were cars on either side of us, trying to keep up.

This is some fucking bullshit.

I dropped my head into my lap and grabbed the just-in-case-I-vomit plastic bag I took everywhere and tried not to throw up. I stayed still until I could feel the car slowing down. I looked up and we were on a residential street near my hotel.

“Are they gone?” I asked.

“Yes ma’am.”

“Thank God,” I whispered as I started to gather my stuff.

“Well, ma’am. They stopped following us so they can be at the hotel entrance when you get out.”

Wait. What?

I didn’t even have time to try and figure out what the hell he was talking about. I could hear loud voices yelling out Diddy! Over here!

I pushed open the curtain on the window of the Bentley and there was a face right in front of me, pushing against the car door.

I yelped.

“I can’t get out!” I said to the driver.

The driver got out of the car and I heard him yelling at the photographers huddled near the car door.

“Mr. Combs is not here!” he shouted. “This is not Mr. Combs.”

The driver opened my door and I could see camera lenses and flashing bulbs. There was also a small crowd gathered outside the hotel, waiting to see who would get out of the car.

I got out, belly first. My hair was all over the place. I was barefoot because my feet had swollen up after standing all day and they wouldn’t fit back in my shoes. So I carried them in my hand. I was holding my plastic just-in-case-I-throw-up bag in one hand and my laptop bag in the other. My hair was everywhere from my brief nap in the backseat and my eyes had raccoon-style mascara smudges.

Finally, I was standing upright and facing the photographers.

And all of the action stopped. The photographers put their cameras down and looked me up and down.

“Who are you?” one of the photographers asked.

I sighed.

“I’m nobody,” I said.

The photographers grumbled and started walking away. I heard one whisper fuck to himself. A few of them gave me disgusted looks. Two or three got up in my face and took a few shots, just in case I was lying I guess.

I climbed the steps of the hotel lobby, walking through a small crowd of people who were also very disappointed that instead of seeing Sean “Puffy-Diddy-P.Diddy” Combs, all they got was a bedraggled, exhausted, pregnant woman who looked a hot ass mess.

Aliya S. King

Aliya S. King is the author of two novels and three nonfiction books, including the New York Times bestseller Keep the Faith, written with recording artist Faith Evans. Right here, she wants to add something pithy and quirky about pancakes or something like in Damon’s bio. But she’s just not that witty. It would feel forced.

  • [Insert Creative Name Here]

    “I still hadn’t forgiven him for…” breaking up Danity Kane? That’s my reason at least.

    • Epsilonicus

      For me it is allowing Da Band to even exist

      • Jacqueline

        that too….

        • [Insert Creative Name Here]

          Beat me too it. “I spit hot fire”

        • Epsilonicus

          You know what, Dylan may be the saving grace of it all lol

          • Quirlygirly

            Yes– Dylan gave some awesome soundbites and he was funny as all get out. Didn’t he and Ness get to fighting or something?

          • TheCollinB

            That boy was a derelict

      • miss t-lee

        That would show was a trainwreck…and yet I was there every week.

        • TeeChantel

          EVERY week! Lol

          • miss t-lee

            It was appointment television to me…lol

        • Jacqueline

          I was done after he made them walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for food. Was it chicken? I can’t remember.

          • Quirlygirly

            It was cheese cake– Junior’s Cheesecake

            • miss t-lee

              Then it made me wonder…what cheesecake could be that good?

              • TeeChantel

                Junior’s cheesecake is pretty good, I can’t see walking across a bridge for it though

                • Quirlygirly

                  NOPE!!

                • miss t-lee

                  Hmmmm.
                  I can’t think of much I’d walk across a bridge for.

                  • Epsilonicus

                    For you girl I would

                    • miss t-lee

                      LEAVE.

                    • Epsilonicus
                    • Quirlygirly

                      LOL- don’t you got a e-baby with Aggie?

                    • Ess Tee

                      Eps out here in these e-skreets tryna spread his e-seed.

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      I imagined you said that in the Honorable Elijah Muhammad voice from Malcolm X

                    • Ess Tee

                      Cot damn! Not “take dat, take dat’!

                    • Epsilonicus

                      We still in negotiations

                    • Lea Thrace

                      Eps. Who havent you shot your e-shot at? Besides me.

                      Wait a second.

                      I am offended that you havent tried me.

                      What am I? Chopped Liver?

                      Tuh!

                    • Epsilonicus

                      Think of it like Control. If you aint mentioned, you should be offended.

                    • Epsilonicus

                      Plus I aint know if you were e-accounted for lol

                    • miss t-lee
                    • -h.h.h.-

                      hmm…sounds like AG is f-r-ee

                    • TheCollinB

                      Epsilonicus for the threeeeee!!! Count it!

              • malaentuvida

                Not Junior’s. Not in my lifetime anyway.

                • miss t-lee

                  Good to know.
                  I heard it was a tourist trap.

                  • malaentuvida

                    Now it most definitely is. The food is standard diner fare and the desserts are okay. On a good day that’s the highest I rate them.

                    • miss t-lee

                      I’m glad to know this.

            • Jacqueline

              Where did I get chicken from…either way it was wrong!! LOL

            • TeeChantel

              Or breast milk from a Cambodian woman

              • Quirlygirly

                * clinks milk bottles

                Brrreeeast Milk come out a plaaayyy

          • miss t-lee

            Cheesecake girl.

            • Jacqueline

              I felt so bad for them…and their humiliation will forever be on tape and not one gold or platinum album or single to show for it. Oh, the humanity!

              • miss t-lee

                Definitely a Puffy type thing to do.

    • Jacqueline

      Funny, I was mad at him for creating Danity Kane….

      • [Insert Creative Name Here]

        LOL. That’s your prerogative. I liked them though.

      • Ess Tee

        Oh, come on! Making the Band at least brought us the great love story of Dawn and Q…

        • TheCollinB

          Questionable Q?!

          • Ess Tee

            I was being facetious, but why is he questionable?! I haven’t paid any attention to any of them groups Puff had via Making the Band since the season ended. So I’m for real curious.

        • DBoySlim

          He couldn’t even pronounce her name.

      • TeeChantel

        I’m with you, Danity Kane sucked. Day 26 was my fav.

        • miss t-lee

          They were so terrible.

      • Quirlygirly

        Come on- Showstoppers wasn’t that bad of a song..

        • Jacqueline

          OK…LOL

        • miss t-lee

          It wasn’t?

          • Quirlygirly

            Well…It wasn’t the most awful song I have heard.

            • miss t-lee

              I never saw it for them, or their songs.

          • Rayjulian85

            I dug it. It was nice to see girls doing what the boys did. Had me walking down the street like a boss.

            • miss t-lee

              Gotcha.

    • TheCollinB

      Damaged >>>>>

      • Can you fix my h-e-a-r-t? still hits.

  • Me

    Ma’am, you are so much better than me. I would’ve shown my entire as$ when that driver drove me back to that set, just like I did when my cab driver tried to bamboozle me out of an extra $20 coming from LGA, then tried to drop me off in the middle of the road when I told him to take me back to the taxi stand he got me from. Pregnant AND playing with my time? No sir. Diddy would’ve been sending me apology gifts for a month if he wanted me to cease the #shitstorm that would’ve brewed.

    • Val

      NYC cabbies are notorious for taking the ‘long route’. Not only do you have to tell them where you want to go but how you want to get there. Otherwise….

      • Me

        I was trying to get to Jersey, and was fortunate enough to ask the woman at the taxi station what my estimated fair should be. She looked it up in some little book with standard rates, so when I asked the driver to confirm, and he hit me with the mumbo jumbo, I got buck. Refused to get out until he drove me back to a safe spot where there was no oncoming traffic and another taxi rep there to put me in another cab. I bet he cursed out all of Black America that night.

  • Jacqueline

    Many have commented before, but I too love reading these behind the scenes stories. I hope you turn this into a book deal. I would drop the coins for it…

    • Yes, let me get on that pre-order list ASAP!

  • YeaSoh

    Chilllllle. At least he had a decent attitude?

  • TeeChantel

    I’ve never been a fan of Puff. I always heard that he’s inconsiderate and a complete jerk to folks. And I especially hated him when I heard rumors about the mistreatment of 112 and Total at Badboy. He needs to sit his diddy-bopping behind down somewhere.

    • Jacqueline

      “Diddy-boppping behind” Thank you for supplying my big laugh of the day

    • cakes_and_pies

      take dat take dat.

    • porqpai

      I initially hated him because he brought bling to rap. THEN he “invented the remix” and I hated him even more for ruining hip hop. THEN he wanted to be a mogul, and I felt like “Sean, please, STAHP!”. Then MTB happened. Then Revolt tried (and failed) to happen. Finally Ciroc (which I like as a product, but that it’s marketing is associated with Puffy is both disturbing and a lil to try hardish of him to be JayZ imo). This story was just the icing on my Drag For Puffy cake.

      ETA: I’m not even touching his apparent identity crisis.

  • Ess Tee

    Of all the things Puff has done, I still rank him making them fools walk the Brooklyn Bridge to get cheesecake from Junior’s higher than him making (?) Shyne take the gun rap.

    • miss t-lee

      Dylan
      Dylan
      Dylan
      Dylan
      Dylan

      • Quirlygirly

        No lie- I would watch Making the Band just to see what craziness Dylan was up too..

        Then Dave Chappelle just made it over the top funny

        • miss t-lee

          I mean…as we watched we knew that they’d be doomed from the start.
          Too many personalities for that group to work.

          • Quirlygirly

            They were angling for Choppa to be the cut up but Dylan came through and took his spot

            • miss t-lee

              Indeed!!!
              I still remember Babs being hot over not being able to get her hurr did, and I felt her pain mayne.

              • Quirlygirly

                She had every right to be hot.. She was the type of chick that needed to get her hurr did..LOL

                • miss t-lee

                  I mean…I didn’t wanna say it.

                  • Quirlygirly

                    LOL– I said it so you didn’t have too..hahaha-

                    • Jacqueline

                      You took one for the team..

          • TheCollinB

            Only thing worse than a signed rappers ego is a #strugglerappers ego.

            • miss t-lee

              There’s a reason there aren’t many rap groups.

          • KB

            The funniest/most effed up episode was when Choppa and Fred got into it because Choppa was making fun of the fact that Fred struggled to read. Then Choppa himself had equal trouble reading. They made southern cats take an L on that one.

            • miss t-lee

              Oh yeah. That was rough.

      • Ess Tee

        LOL! Man, there’s gotta be some station (TV One? Centric?) that’ll re-air that season of MTB.

        • miss t-lee

          See. Now this is something i’d rewatch happily.

      • brothaskeeper

        I rip and I rhyme…

        • miss t-lee

          *cackling*

        • Glam Life

          I spit hot fire. ? ? ?

      • Marc.J.H.

        All of that work they did on that show and still none of them even lit a spark in Hip Hop. I wonder where they are now?

        • miss t-lee

          Working regular jobs, I’m sure…lol
          I know that Sarah girl is still tryna sing. In between beating up on her husband and such.

          • Marc.J.H.

            Working a regular job after being on tv? I…really..couldn’t…do it. My pride would probably force me to beg Diddy to be a pretend A&R while moonlighting as a janitor at Bad Boy.

            • miss t-lee

              Pride will have you starving.

              • Marc.J.H.

                LOL and that’s why I’ll never be a reality star or rapper.

          • Ille Jay

            Lmao…why you go there! But its true…I saw a blog that had updates on them all…nobody really is doing much…I think Babs was the most successful, she was hosting some Hip Hop Show/Forum or something.

            • miss t-lee

              Just saying…lol

      • rhymeswithbrucelee

        This will never be not funny to me

        • miss t-lee

          Also.

    • I blame them more for actually doing so.

      • miss t-lee

        Really though.

      • Ess Tee

        True true.

  • What kinda paparazzi folks are those? Surely, they could’ve run with the Diddy’s got a secret baby-mama and lovechild angle lol.

    • Epsilonicus

      I thought that is how this would end lol

      • Gertrudedfernandez2


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      • Crystalsanderson


        “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….


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      • check my profile picture
    • Amber

      Funny that’s what I was thinking.

    • Lol! I was thinking the same thing!

    • TeeChantel

      You’re right! Ugh that’s so messy lol

    • Jacqueline

      I think that was why the one photographer took a close up picture of her.

  • TheCollinB

    I was just listening to that Dirty Money album on Monday.
    In sorry for your experience, but if I had a spirit animal it would be Puffy.

  • TheCollinB

    Somebody go turn on that “Love Come Down” record by Dirty Money and tell me your day doesn’t get 10x better.

    • TeeChantel

      A s s on the Floor was my jam. I’m listening to it right now. As much as I hate Puff, I gotta admit, he had some good hits.

      • TheCollinB

        the music….puff stays making great records. Now play “Yeah You Would”. Work = Lit right now for me!

        • TeeChantel

          Dope beat…I have to add that to my music library

          • TheCollinB

            Even on his other album before this one, “Press Play” there are bangers all over that one. Diddy Rock, Hold Up, Everything I Love, We Gon’ Make It, Tell Me….y’all gonna work this morning.

            • Quirlygirly

              I liked Tell Me.. Xtina sound good on that song

      • Quirlygirly

        His beat makers do an amazing job of getting you moving and grooving

      • HAS. Diddy still dropping bombs!

        • TeeChantel

          I’m out the loop. Im not a fan of Finna Get Loose, I haven’t heard any other songs.

      • Epsilonicus

        “A s s on the Floor”

        Yup!

    • Quirlygirly

      You can’t help but move to that song.. I listening to it now and jammin in my chair

      Show ’em how to move in room full of vultures

      • TheCollinB

        “I Hate That I Love You”…..this album was fuego. People sleep on this stuff???

    • The one thing Diddy deserves credit for, is his ability to accumulate talent…

      And then soak it all up before they go elsewhere.

      • Quirlygirly

        LOL–I was reading online and someone called Diddy the Grim Reaper of Talent..

  • miss t-lee

    Please free my comment, y’all. :)

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