Diddy, Press Play (Bad Boy, 2006)
Looking to cap off a year in which he topped the Billboard singles chart with songs by arguably the two least talented artists to emerge so far this century, Diddy hopes to strike gold yet again with this, his first rap album in four or five years. If this actually turns out any good he will have pulled off one hell of a hat trick.
In true Diddy fashion, the beat for this triumphant, Dynasty-style intro is a straight jack of "Head over Heals" by Tears for Fears. It's about as retarded as you'd think, if oddly appropriate.
WE GON' MAKE IT
This flips the same sample as that Jay-Z song that leaked the other day, "Show Me What You Got." It's much more plain-sounding, but you don't really miss the "Rump Shaker" horns at all.
I AM (INTERLUDE)
The "freestyle" from his MySpace where he might be going at Fiddy.
Like something Organized Konfusion might have done. Havoc did the beat, while Pharoahe Monch - quite obviously - wrote the lyrics.
Like "Jesus Walks," but maybe even more retarded. Well, I suppose there aren't as many references to "Jesus."
COME TO ME
The lead single, which seems to be on the radio always.
Like "Come to Me," but with Christina Aguilera. It'll probably be the next single/video.
Like "Come to Me," but with Big Boi, Ciara, and Scar. Whoever that is.
P DIDDY ROCK
Timbaland sings the chorus to this a la "Promiscuous Girl." Twista drops a real motherfucker of a verse.
CLAIM MY PLACE (INTERLUDE)
A long-ass Mr. Rogers Neighborhood-sounding interlude about how Diddy has come to claim his place. The fuck?
EVERYTHING I LOVE
A pretty incredible track featuring Nas and Ceelo and with Kanye on the beat. Nas' verse on this is nucking futs. We can only hope he brings it like this on Hip-Hop Is Dead.
Remember that scene in Purple Rain where Morris Day had to chew those bitches because they weren't dancing fast enough? That's what this sounds like.
CRAZY THANG (INTERLUDE)
Because there wasn't just an interlude two tracks ago. Diddy seems to have developed a penchant for the term motherfucker.
Sounds like some garbage left over from the Danity Kane album. These last several tracks are all ballads featuring R&B bitches.
THROUGH THE PAIN (SHE TOLD ME)
It's got a weird sort of mid '80s Phil Collins thump to it. Otherwise, this is that one Mario Winans song, but with new Diddy loverman raps added on.
THOUGHT YOU SAID
A sort of drum and bass thing with Brandy that works a bit better than it probably should.
Very Prince-like. The drums, in fact, might be jacked from "Raspberry Beret." Oh, and did I mention that Diddy is singing (okay, and talking) on this one?
MAKING IT HARD
The requisite song featuring Mary J. Blige, who really isn't a very good singer. But man, this beat. I wouldn't be surprised if this ended up a single as well.
PARTNERS FOR LIFE
A pretty sappy ode to Diddy's manly-looking baby's mother, featuring Jamie Foxx on shitty R&B chorus.
COMMENTS: Okay, so this isn't the best rap album since Illmatic, but there is a song with Nas on it! It's nails, too. In fact, this whole album is pretty much one big, nasty bag of nails. Diddy's rappin' has improved about as much as it possibly could, and the production here is nothing short of state of the art, except on the few tracks that kinda suck balls. It kinda peters out towards the end with so many sappy R&B records, but what are you gonna do.
BEST TRACKS: "Everything I Love" "Last Night" "Making It Hard"