Happy Birthday, Biggie Smalls: Diddy Honors B.I.G. By Debuting ‘Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop’

Several hours ago, reports Deadline, hip-hop guru and all-around entrepreneur Diddy did something very special at the 2017 Billboard Music Festival to celebrate what would have been the 45th birthday of rap legend Biggie Smalls. He debuted the first trailer for the documentary Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop that follows the rise and 20th-anniversary concert of Diddy and Biggie Smalls’ label, Bad Boy Records.

“Tonight I’m here to talk about my friend, my brother, my artist,” said Diddy, real name Sean Combs. “In 1993, it was all a dream. That’s when God blessed me with the opportunity and the vision to start Bad Boy Records.”

After scouting out Biggie Smalls and producing his debut Ready to Die, he added, “it became one of the most successful hip-hop and R&B labels in history.”

Diddy proceeded to lay out some impressive figures, noting that Biggie smalls had almost single-handedly paved the way for Bad Boy Records by selling more than 25 million copies worldwide of just the two albums he made before he was shot in 1997. That’s over five percent of the 500 million total albums the huge Bad Boy records label has sold to date.

“His Ready to Die album, his Life After Death album, classics,” Diddy continued. “He changed the game of hip-hop forever. Biggie was the best rapper I ever had the chance to work with. Watching him and seeing him work is something that words can’t explain.”

Diddy, P. Diddy, Puff Daddy
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs speaking at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. [Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]

Diddy punctuates his kind words about Biggie smalls by asking the huge audience for a round of applause, which they give, and then calling up a clip of Biggie Smalls’ mother, Voletta Wallace, accepting an award on his behalf shortly after Biggie’s death.

The crowd goes wild as the clip ends, and the viewer hardly has time to wonder how Biggie Smalls would have reacted to Miley Cyrus in a voluminous white dress at his birthday celebration before Diddy introduces to the stage Biggie’s son, C.J. Wallace.

C.J., wearing a brown suede hat straight out of Oh Brother Where Art Thou, says a few words about his father looking down on the proceedings before stepping aside to let Diddy remind the audience that while Biggie Smalls was shot about 20 years ago, Bad Boy Records has been around for just over 21 years.

And with that, Diddy introduces the first trailer for Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, a movie that, according to Okay Player, “chronicles the behind the scenes turmoil of pulling together the entire Bad Boy family for a 20th-anniversary reunion show with three weeks to rehearse vocals and choreography to tracks exhumed from the label’s past.” It also contains a lot of flashbacks and retellings, so Biggie Smalls’ life and death will be discussed in-depth.

The trailer mostly focuses on how much of a visionary Diddy is and hardly mentions Biggie Smalls, which is a little odd considering it is something introduced as a tribute to Biggie, but Combs seems confident it was an important film to make.

“I knew this was a story that should be shared with the world,” Diddy said. “This project is a true testament to the Bad Boy legacy.”

Although the film will not be made publicly available until June 25, when it will become an Apple Music exclusive, it technically premiered earlier this year at NYC’s Tribeca film festival. It was reviewed by sources like Variety that mostly agree the film is effective and poignant.

Mase, left, and Sean "Diddy" Combs perform at the "Can't Stop, Won't Stop: The Bad Boy Story" film premiere.
Mase and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs perform at the ‘Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: The Bad Boy Story’ film premiere. [Image by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Images]

In addition to Diddy, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop reportedly stars Bad Boy artists like Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans, Mase, 112, Total, and Carl Thomas. It even contains cameos from Jay-Z and Nas.

What else would you like to see in the film documenting “the label that Biggie Smalls built”? Make yourself heard in the comments section below.

[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]