Fewer people have held such influence over our culture like Diddy. From Bad Boy to Sean John, Mr. Combs has made almost as big of an impact on what we wear as he has on what we hear, evidenced in 2003 when he resurrected a long forgotten style trend born out of a simple mission: to run a marathon.
In September of that year, Combs announced that he’d become an advocate for children and on their behalf, would run the New York City Marathon. But the real attention grabber was his new haircut. Bald faded along the sides and cut to a steeple at the front of his dome, Diddy now sported an aerodynamic hybrid between a Lonnie Luster and a Dennis The Menace, that could only be called a fro-hawk.
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Combs longtime friend and barber Curtis Smith calls the cut the ‘9CHawkie’. When asked about the haircut – first popularized by Mr. T – Smith was quick to clarify that Diddy’s style choice wasn’t an homage to the A-Team. Nope, Sean Combs had been inspired by the then three-year-old Maddox Jolie, the adopted Cambodian son of actress Angelina. The barber spent several months perfecting the Entertainment Moguls ‘grown-man version’, which soon caught fire in barbershops throughout the nation, and stayed put.
Combs didn’t win the marathon that year. But he did finish in an impressive 4 hours and 15 minutes and raised over $2 million for NYC kids. But almost equally as amazing, Diddy spawned a decade long trend that’s seen everyone from Chad Ocho Cinco to Duane Rock Johnson to even rapper Whiz Khalifa sport their own versions of the hawk.
Who other than Diddy could take a toddler’s swag and turn it into a movement?