Photo courtesy of Marco Torres

When Sean Combs lands anywhere, the spotlight immediately falls upon him and blacks out nearly everyone around him. That isn’t a metaphor for his Last Train to Paris album it’s more of actual fact. Diddy has become larger than his name changes and varying product shill. In the age where people burn out trying to remain the same, Diddy changes his style nearly at the drop of a hat and immediately becomes the kid who was cool in college, the entrepreneur you wanted to be after grad school and now in his current realm, the Gordon Gekko of hip-hop.

Having Diddy be spotted with Cassie during this past weekend’s South by Southwest festivities in Austin, Texas opened the wide range of questions for any megastar inside of a niche fishbowl. For years South by was catered to indie artists who had been sharpening their skills in dive bars and holes in the wall. When hip-hop started making its presence known around the 2009 edition, the whispers came calling. What was once a local darling has now turned into a corporate machine that pumps billions in tho the local economy through the wear & tear of wristband sales, drinks and events from 2nd Street all the way down to 11th.

This isn’t to say that SXSW will feature nothing but major label artists in the coming years but considering that Wiz Khalifa & J. Cole both were in Peckerheads showcasing what they brought to the table so far and in a turn of the calendar they were performing on sponsored showcases (BET & Atlantic respectively) that only those either in the know or those willing to drop out thousands of dollars attended, the fact remains that while we cherish the artists individual growth (and maybe in Wiz’ case a regression in order to grow) and are aware that someone else will fill that void next year, it means that SXSW has realized that it’s officially big business.

Which brings us back to Diddy.

Saturday night at The FADER Fort, the magazine’s week long event space that held performances from acts like Khalifa, Matt & Kim and hip-hop’s punk rock nihilist collective Odd Future, Diddy introduced Lil B the Based God to a hungry crowd who didn’t want the lyrical Lil B that had the internet scratching their chins in skepticism on tracks like “Base For Your Face”, they wanted the Lil B who tapped them on the chin with brute force and monotone tracks such as “Wonton Soup” & “Ellen Degeneres”.

B did his set and then left. Then Diddy co-signed the Based God by doing his cooking dance before performing his own “individual” hits of “Mo Money, Mo Problems” and “All About The Benjamins”. Later in a tweet, he championed hungry Cleveland, Ohio emcee Machine Gun Kelly claiming that he was a star after watching his viral video: “Half Naked & Almost Famous”.

In one instance, having Kelly get that co-sign is a blessing to the actual power the festival holds. In the other instance, it shows that Diddy may be ready to sink his vampire teeth into another up & coming career and put it in the same waste basket that holds the careers of so many, pushed Loon Muslim & drove Shyne Jew.

There are little moments wrapped inside the banality of a five day music festival that bring a tear to your eye on a sentimental level, the closeness of how musicians when taken out of their environment and placed in Austin, the most liberal city in Texas that also doubles as the state capital of the most conservative piece of land in the United States. Who knows exactly where SXSW will take them in 2012 but if there’s word a Kanye or Jay decided to take over an entire hotel and begin to say that fans have to pay beyond top dollar to see them – then the weird part SXSW cherished for so long will truly be dead.