At its heart, hip-hop culture is about innovation: taking what you have and finding something useful --- Sean "Puffy" Combs embodies that, in alot of ways. B. Coops did this really interesting interveiw with him when he talks about the hard work behind his sucess.

I admit, when I first read about a former dancer turned intern starting his own label, I was skeptical. At the time, vanity labels like BivTen were taking a hit. Also, this was the same kid behind that stampede at City College where nine people were killed, so I was thinking, this guy guy can't organize a concert---how will he run a label? What Combs did was come in and fill a hole in the market no one knew was there, and instead of modeling Karl Kani, he decided to do his own thing, and jump the hustle. As a result, despite himself, his success surpassed all expectations, and he's still in the game years after others fell off.

He's caught some flak for exploiting the memory of the Notorious B.I.G., and I say he has to take that hit.  There's a difference between eulogizing an artist and juicing his catalog for every last dime. At a certain point in all the remixing and such, the source material suffers. All in, though I have to give him props. He rose to the top from nothing--he is hip-hop: he is the American dream.