BandHip HopR&B

Contact : Cara Donatto - Cara.Donatto@atlanticrecords.com


Good hip-hop producers create hot beats, beats you can dance to, rhyme over, remember.
Great hip-hop producers, however, create a sound. They have a point of view.

If you didn’t know that before, you will definitely know that now, once you catch any of the fourteen tracks that make up Press Play, Diddy’s dazzling new Bad Boy/Atlantic Records release. As Diddy and guest stars Ciara and Big Boi intone on “Wanna Move”, it’s a CD that will “get you high on music” while you “enjoy the vibe.”
And it’s a new vibe, indeed. Combining all the artistic influences that have defined him as a hip-hop fan, artist and producer over the years, Diddy has done something artists always tell you they intend to do, but rarely actually accomplish: He’s taken it to the next level, creating a sound that might best be described as New Wave-meets-Hip-hop, sexy electro-pop with a urban street beat. Like hip-hop has always been, it’s a riveting mix of the new and the old. But Diddy does something with the music cutting edge of musical forms; it’s sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before, massaging the ear as passionately as it shakes the ass.

It’s been five years since The Saga Continues…And the saga is indeed continuing. In the five years since that last release, Diddy has upped his moguldom to unprecedented levels, adding fragrance producer, Broadway actor, marathon runner, and television producer to his growing list of accomplishments. It would be easy for the man to rest on his laurels, to release a CD that plays on the same Diddy template that made him a global superstar. He’s taken his years of experience and created a sonic experience that breaks new ground while it sustains the Diddy mystique.

“I originally started producing records ‘cause I wanted to make people dance,” he says. “And I’ve been quietly working on this for the last two years, taking everything I’ve learned over the years, from growing up in the 70s, to being out in the streets in the 80s listening to hip-hop and watching how it affected my culture, to the 90s, working with Uptown and Bad Boy. Add to that all the experience I’ve had traveling and being exposed to all kinds of sounds, it was time to rekindle the thing I loved. I’ve achieved a great deal of success, but music is my passion.”

On it’s surface, Press Play is a love story, a sly romantic tale of two people who meet, seduce each other, fall in love, and then experience the inevitable pain of that love breaking. But underneath that, Press Play is the tale of a dreamer, a helpless romantic who’s balancing the dream-state of his passions with the passions of his dreams coming true. In other words, what happens when you have access to everything you ever wanted and yet you still want to grow? In it’s wide-reaching breadth of sounds and moods, deep in the sexy staccato of the keyboards and the snare of the blaring horns that heighten the grooves, you can hear the sound of a man on a mission to create something new.

Which is why Press Play might be the best possible name of Diddy’s new CD. Because what happens when you “press play”? Not only are you kicking in the beat, getting the party started—whether it’s in your basement or your SUV or your iPod—but you’re also refreshing the sound, starting from scratch, opening up new possibilities, allowing a man to fully express himself. And that’s part of Diddy’s aim this time around.

The tracks on Press Play span the realm of Diddy expressing himself. There a clutch of straight-up party records, like the sensuous single “Come to Me” and “I Am”, which comes on like gangbusters, like the hottest soundtrack from the greatest blaxploitation hit never made. But some other tracks might surprise people with both the level of vulnerability and depth Diddy brings to his lyrical ruminations and the fiercely nuanced creativity of the sonic landscape. Check out “Makin’ It Hard,” featuring Mary J. Blige, which is nothing less than a beautifully percussive hip-hop version of the Blues. “Diddy Rock,” featuring Timbaland, mixes deep house cheekiness with a hip-hop sensibility, creating a vibe that transcends both, sounding like it’s of the 80s yet not from the 80s. “The Future” is almost a political statement, detailing aspects of what Diddy calls the “Afro-American dream” that’s as uplifting and powerful as it is dazzlingly danceable. These are the themes currently close to the heart of a brotha who’s “black, rich and dangerous” and yet still wants to make an impact and create a moment with the rhythms and rhymes that he sends out into the world like his children. “Special Feeling” is the best Prince track Prince hasn’t made in years, a horny, corny slice of wry the percolates with jazzy freshness. “Thought You Said,” featuring a guest vocal by Brandy, plays like Coldplay or David Gray lost in a hip-hop funhouse of sorts.

Sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard of, right? Sounds like an impressively broad-based mélange, right? Something you need to


No Way Out
* Released: July 1, 1997
* Chart positions: #1 US
* RIAA certification: 7x Platinum
* Singles: "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down", "I'll Be Missing You", "It's All About the Benjamins", "Been Around the World", "Victory"

* Released: August 24, 1999
* Chart positions: #2 US, #9 UK
* RIAA certification: 2x Platinum
* Singles: "P.E. 2000", "Satisfy You", "Best Friend"

The Saga Continues...
* Released: June 19, 2001
* Chart positions: #2 US
* RIAA certification: 2x Platinum
* Singles: "Let's Get It" "Bad Boy for Life" "D.I.D.D.Y"

We Invented The Remix Vol. 1
* Released: May 21, 2002
* Chart positions: #1 US, #17 UK
* RIAA certification: Platinum
* Singles: "I Need a Girl", "I Need a Girl Part II", "Special Delivery (Remix)"

Press Play
* Released: October 17, 2006
* Chart positions: #1 US, #11 UK
* RIAA certification: Gold
* Singles: "Come to Me", "Tell Me", "Last Night"