Sean Combs AKA P. Diddy AKA Puff Daddy... Is Now Swag?

What was ever wrong with just calling himself Sean?

By , Columnist

The Telegraph

What's in a name? When it comes to branding, a name change is often a last resort for lagging sales but can also be a useful tool for reinvigorating market appeal.

For those who don't follow the rap genre, it might seem that the only time they hear about Sean Combs is when he changes his moniker.

While hardly up to date with the current rap scene, I discovered an appreciation for Notorious B.I.G.'s album Ready to Die around 1993. Unknown to me at the time, the LP was produced by a guy named Sean Combs and his start-up company, Bad Boy Records. Four years later, while watching the music video "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" by somebody named Puff Daddy, I realized he had an association with Biggie and a unique take on hip-hop. This was around the time Puff Daddy dated Jennifer Lopez (during her white bandana and "Jenny from the Block" period) and fired off a few rounds inside a New York City nightclub.

Puff Daddy was acquitted in 2001 and announced, to anyone who would listen, that his new name would be P. Diddy. With a different name came a different outlook and P. Diddy (P for philanthropist, maybe?) became a fundraiser for New York schools, ran the NYC Marathon and began a Vote or Die campaign that prompted young voters to get out and cast their votes, or else suffer the consequences of, apparently, death.

P. Diddy then went on to make a gospel album. Veering from his original style and subsequently losing fans, media only paid attention to him again after he appeared on the Today show in 2005 announcing his new name would be "Diddy," due to "the P getting between him and his fans" - whatever that means.

In the years following, Diddy oversaw a clothing line, a vodka line, a string of restaurants, a new album, some other peoples' albums, a reality show, and most recently a "rap supergroup" called Diddy - Dirty Money. Earlier this week, Sean Puffy Daddy Diddy Dirty Money Combs posted a video announcing another name change and that he is in fact "alive" after a harrowing and tumultuous week-long bout with... the common cold. Probably just as well as no one would have known what to put on his tombstone anyway.

Combs, or whatever, briefed his fans that he will change his name yet again to Swag, for one week only, in a celebratory measure of his recovery. Several commentators remarked that the name change and alter ego Twitter account (@iamswag) were all in jest, but no one really got the joke. Maybe it's a slight annoyance at Swag's constant reinvention, or more likely, constant need for attention, but I can only wonder what was ever wrong with just calling himself Sean?

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Holly is a freelance writer and copy editor with a background in journalism and publishing. Like a grandmother's purse, she is about three decades old, worn around the edges and mostly full of crap.

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