Why does Diddy keep changing his name?

By Leslie Gornstein Jan 25, 2008 7:08 PMTags

I just heard Diddy changed his name again. What is it now? Why does he keep doing that?
—Trishelle, New York

The B!tch Replies:  Well, the man has to stay famous somehow. If he were a woman, he could simply marry a rock star, get a high-profile divorce and then trumpet a shiny new life on the cover of Vogue: Puffy Sean Diddy Dad Bounces Back, and She's Hotter Than Ever!

But a guy like Puffy Sean Diddy Dad has to bring his fame-seeking A-game at all times, just to fend off the Greniers and the Dushkus. And as it turns out, every time the man announces a new name change, he gets fresh headlines—worldwide—and a chance to remake his image.

He's gone from a quasi-thuggish rapper type to a smooth mogul type to some other sort of type to, most recently, a serious thespian man. And it seems a new name has served as a signpost to mark each change.

For the record, the man currently known as Diddy may—or may not—be changing his public moniker to Sean John. The British tabloid the Daily Star recently quoted him thusly: "I have always evolved and taken a different name each time. Right now I want to be Sean John because that's where I am right now." But the rapper-party-thrower has since distanced himself from that quote. A rep now says that any rumors of a name change are "totally false" and that he should still be referred to as Diddy.

Oh, well that explains everything then.

A brief history and analysis:

1. There once was a boy named Sean Combs.

2. Sometimes he got angry. "Whenever I got mad as a kid, I used to always huff and puff," Combs told Jet magazine in 1998. "I had a temper. That's why my friend started calling me Puffy."

3. So, then he was Puffy.

4. Then Puffy started a career in the rap game, as they say. And circa 1996, when he moved from producing to performing, he needed a stage name that said rapper. Puff Daddy was born. As in, a mac daddy, but you know...not.

5. Jump to 2001. After a bad night at the clubs, Puff Daddy found himself facing a gun charge. He was acquitted, but it was time to combat his growing image as a thug. He morphed his name again, this time into the sleeker P. Diddy. "I just want something fresh," he said at the time.

6. One night P. Diddy was performing onstage. The chanting from his fans seemed awkward, and it displeased him. "Half the crowd [was] saying 'P. Diddy,' and half the crowd [was] chanting 'Diddy,' " he recalled to Katie Couric in 2005. So, he dumped the P.

7. Now Diddy has a part in a film version of A Raisin in the Sun, currently screening at Sundance. Time to change again? Maybe. A name like Sean John certainly beats Diddy if you want respect from acting snobs. Nothing says serious actor like a moniker that could have been lifted from the Duke of Cornwall.

Regardless of what the man is currently called, I doubt this is the last name change we'll see. Place your bets on the next one by writing to me at answerbitch@eonline.com.