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Album Review

Diddy spent the five years since the release of his previous solo album making (and shelving) a gospel album, dabbling (or flailing) in dance music, running in the New York City Marathon, developing a perfume called (almost unbelievably) Unforgivable, and undoubtedly doing many other important things. His Bad Boy empire settled into a severe lull until the summer of 2006, when Yung Joc's "It's Going Down," Cassie's "Me&U," and the Danity Kane album revived the label. Press Play is well timed, and it's also well endowed: the roster of collaborators and guests is both extensive and impressive enough to entice the severely Diddy-resistant. Peculiarly enough, Diddy's practically the opening act on his own album. During the first several tracks, he's the dominant voice, dishing out the expected variations on his wildly hubristic boasts of old, and that includes a baffling gritted-teeth threat like "America, fall back, you can't stop me/Got a thing for pigeon-toed chicks who walk knock-kneed." On his own, he does not deliver. Around track six, the guests begin to take over the 80-minute program, and the album morphs into a theatrical examination of love and romance that is partly randomized but mostly tremendous. Apparently inspired by his relationships with ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez and his wife, Diddy and his shifting cast of fellow songwriters/producers pen a series of songs — you could almost call it a suite — emboldened by a round of knockout performances from several women. Multi-threat up-and-comer Keri Hilson (watch for her), Brandy, Keyshia Cole, and Mary J. Blige all take lead roles and make up the heart of the album. This last half-hour of the album, with the exception of a couple instances where Diddy could've left everything in the hands of the vocalists, teeters on the edge of brilliance. Timbaland (with partner Nathanial "Danja" Hill) and Mario Winans (with Diddy) deliver robust, imaginative productions that lay the majority of modern-day R&B tracks to waste (glints of left-field dance music and the new wave that inspired it are incorporated to great effect), while Rich Harrison expectedly and thrillingly blends the blaring with the lush behind Blige. The rest of the album is worth talking about, as it involves noteworthy appearances from Christina Aguilera, Ciara, Nas, Big Boi, Cee-Lo, and several others, but it's less risky and not nearly as remarkable as the closing stretch. All told, the number of memorable hooks on display here is surprising.

Customer Reviews

Press Stop

Press Play sounds more like Press Stop, Eject, and never play again. Puffy needs to stop, his sounds is old and played out. It is not 1997 dude? Bad Boy has just become a Bad Idea. Nothing but a money making scheme, for Sean Combs. There is nothing good about his music anymore. Its a WRAP.

What you see is what you get!

For everyone out there comparing Diddy to Jay-Z or Nas or T.I. you have it all wrong. What you need to realize is there are different genres of Rap music. Diddy is one of them. Everyone hating on him are probably the same people bumping Three Six Mafia, Little Jon, Yin Yang Twinz, and the rest of the garbage now looked upon as "real" rap music. Listen you don't have to love Diddy, but at least appreciate this type of rap music for what it is, fun, danceable hip hop. There isn't a club open today who hasn't spun a dozen Diddy tracks before. And I know a lot of the haters have bobbed there head to just as many! Show the man some respect for what he has done. This album is one of his best since No Way Out! Hands down!

Real Hip Hop Comes from a veteran

This is real hip hop not your lean wit it rock wit it crap that tells you how to dance on the track. All of these tracks on here takes it back to when hip hop was real hip hop. The beats are cool, the lyrics are cool and the innovative concept of bringing in some unknown artists is what P. diddy is all about. Most artist got big breaks through diddy so give him some credit.


Born: November 4, 1969 in New York, NY [Harlem]

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the biggest hip-hop impresarios ever, Sean Combs -- known as Puff Daddy until his professional name change to P. Diddy, then just Diddy -- created a multi-million-dollar industry around Bad Boy Entertainment, with recordings by the Notorious B.I.G., Craig Mack, Faith Evans, 112, and Total all produced and masterminded by Combs himself. Responsible for over $100 million in total record sales and named ASCAP's 1996 Songwriter of the Year, Combs was, on the other hand, criticized by many in the...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Diddy

Press Play, Diddy
View in iTunes
  • $10.99
  • Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, R&B/Soul
  • Released: Oct 16, 2006
  • Clean

Customer Ratings


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