Puffy? Diddy? 'It's Not a Serious Thing' Rapper, producer, fashion designer, restaurateur, grass-roots organizer and Broadway actor? Sean "Diddy" Combs might be the hardest-working man in hip-hop. He talks to Terry Gross about his career — and the "characters" behind his ever-changing names.

Puffy? Diddy? 'It's Not a Serious Thing'

Puffy? Diddy? 'It's Not a Serious Thing'

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Sean Combs' television adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun was recently released on DVD. Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images hide caption

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Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images

While his nicknames may be ever-changing, Sean Combs himself is immediately recognizable as one of the richest and most influential people in hip-hop.

In the past few years, the rapper-turned-mogul has found two new projects to juggle in addition to producing records, designing clothing and managing restaurants: acting on Broadway and rocking the vote with his "Vote or Die" campaign.

Combs starred in the stage revival of A Raisin in the Sun in 2004. A television adaptation was released on DVD in May.

Combs talks to Terry Gross about his almost obsessive rehearsal process for that show, about losing his father — an associate of reputed druglord Frank Lucas — in a shooting when Combs was 3 years old, and about the influence his mother and grandmother have had on his life and career.