You may want to be sitting down for this one: Sean "Diddy" Combs has changed his name again. If you're asking yourself why Diddy is now called Brother Love, the artist gives an explanation in the same tweet in which he announces the news — and it makes more sense than you'd think.
Tweeting the "very serious, serious news" along with #TakeDat, presumably in anticipation of some heavy-duty trolling, the rapper explained that, "it’s risky because it could come off as corny to some people" but said that he is "just not who I am [sic] before, I'm something different, so my new name is Love. AKA Brother Love."
Update: On Monday night, Combs posted an Instagram video in which he stated that he was kidding about changing his name to Brother Love. He said,
"Well ladies and gentlemen, today I've come to the conclusion that you cannot play around with the internet. Due to overwhelming response from the media out there and just due there not wanting to be any confusion, I was only joking. OK? I didn't change my name. It's just part of one of my alter egos... Yo set the record straight because I have a lot of press to do the next couple of weeks, you can address me by any of my older names."
Earlier: In a disclaimer that the more confused among you might find useful, he stressed that he will not be responding to Puffy, Diddy, Puff Daddy, or basically any other name beyond Love or Brother Love. Fair enough. While the musician has gotten a bad rap over the years for his constant name changes, you've got to hand it to him. Why shouldn't he change his moniker if that's what he feels like doing? He states in the video that he's prayed about it, which suggests that his artist name is an important topic for Combs.
Still, it's also easy to understand why people might be a touch cynical about the news. As Bustle writer Lia Beck has previously reported, Combs has gone through multiple name changes before. He first swapped Puff Daddy for P. Diddy in 2001 after being acquitted of charges for gun possession and bribery. Beck cites the star as changing from P. Diddy to Diddy in 2005 to "simplify things." Vanity Fair reports that there was one week in 2011 when Combs' name was "Swag." Then, in 2014, a trailer for his Rick Ross and French Montana collab "Big Homie" credited him as Puff Daddy, prompting Combs to tweet that he had never changed his name in the first place. Um.
But while it's tempting to make fun of the frequency with which the 48-year-old changes his name, doing so clearly allows him to move on from difficult moments in his past, turning over a new leaf. The Daily Mail cited him as saying of the change from Puff Daddy to P. Diddy
"No more Puff Daddy — the first week in June, we're going to have a name-change ceremony. I'm not doing it as serious as Prince. I just want something fresh. I'm rocking with P. Diddy just now."
But there's more controversy to the decision than Combs assuming a new moniker again. As Twitter has been quick to notice, the rapper's new name is already taken. Brother Love is the stage name of the former wrestler Bruce Pritchard, and it wasn't long before Pritchard himself joined in, tweeting, "Yo. Find a new gimmick. I invented and perfected Brother Love. I am the original and you are not. Remember North Carolina" in response to the star's announcement about his big name change.
Still, it seems unlikely that the Harlem native has been inspired by the wrestler, whose Brother Love WWE persona was described by The Houston Chronicle as a "money-grubbing, TV-evangelist shyster... character." As Newsweek has already observed, over the last year, the rapper truly has been giving out good vibes, with the publication citing a tweet from Combs from September in which he states, "I am at a place in my life where peace is my priority and negativity cannot exist."
Accept the unlikely. This probably isn't a cynical bid for attention or an attempt to rip off another man's TV nickname. This could genuinely be Combs announcing to the world that he's in a good place in his life and he wants a name to reflect that. And, really, would that be such a bad thing?