Artist: DiddyTitle: Press Play PREVIEWRating: 5 StarsReviewed by: Robert Longfellow
No, that's not the album's rating, we haven't heard the whole thing yet. Sheesh. Anyway, we at AllHipHop and the usual assembly of industry insiders, movers, shakers, street team lackeys and baggage handlers--shout to Diddy's new tall, blonde haired manservant--packed into NYC Meatpacking District hotspot TenJune to listen to selections from his Press Play album. And we won't stop. Sorry, couldn't resistâ¦
The spot was jumping with DJ Enuff rocking party grooves. Mr. Combs then grabbed the mic, announcing something about it being a "New era of Bad Boy" and that his soon to be released album is, "Something refreshing." Surely. Here's a little play by play about what was heard...
My Testimonial - This joint is a key heavy, ominous intro with Diddy saying he's "Back better than it ever was." It does a decent job of setting the tone that something big is about to go down.
Song #2 - Sorry, missed the title, but the song sounded like the obligatory let me sweat myself profusely track. The various street team personnel were quite happy dancing to this one.
The Future - Puff noted before playing this joint that he did a lot more writing this album and that he wrote this song with "help" from Pharoahe Monch. Maybe he was referring to the the ad libs because it damn sure sounds more Monch than Diddy. Regardless, the flow is ill, though borrowed and the beat is courtesy of Mobb Deep's Havoc. We have a winner.
I Am - Another triumphant type jam that's high on the BPMs. Very celebratory and with its snappy drums and wailing horns, think of it as a high polished and glitzy "Public Enemy #1". That would be the PE version, not that ish Diddy dropped on Forever. Ahh yes, those dancing street teamers seemed hella pleased while mouthing "I'm richer b*tch!" along with the song.
Song #5 - Damn, missed the title again, but he might not have said it, though. This is a joint clearly intended for the dancefloor with Christina Aguilera on the vocal help out. The drums on this high energy affair are sick. No wonder, it's a Just Blaze production. Enough drinks and you'll be disgruntingly dancing along too.
Danger - Produced by the self anointed greatest producer in the world Timbaland. No denying this drum happy concoction is addictive but it damn sure sounds like that Nelly Furtado joint. But the day is saved when Big Boi, ya know, from OutKast, jumps in to spit some of that southernplayalistiflava.
Song #7 - Blame Run-DMC. Before hitting play, Diddy let's the crowd know he first knew he wanted to be a rapper...entertainer, while attending Freshfest and witnessing Run-DMC command the crowd to hold up their Adidas. He also went on a spiel about reppin' for the interns, working with Mary J. Blige forever (she kills on this song), and stating that he is "hard to love" (pause...the song is about long time girlfriend Kim Porter). Soulful with horns a plenty and Mary getting busy, a solid joint. Oh yeah, Diddy rhymes on it too.
Stronger - This sounds like some electro pop trance club new wave dancing the night way in Ibiza with Dallas Austin on the help out ish. Google those aforementioned genres and that description will make sense. This song gets a pass thanks to Twista killing it on the cameo tip only to get outdone himself by Shawnna. Chi-town got heat, yes indeed.
Hold Up - Note to listening session organizers, louder isn't always better. This joint had kids singing on it. It could be hot, but ringing ear drums aren't conducive to aural enjoyment.
Everything I Love - Nas on the cameo, Cee Lo on the hook and that tight shirt wearing Chi-town cat on the beat, this is a can't miss. The drum driven track is ill with mean organs and brass in the mix. Nas talking ish about cran-apples and paisley is more about lyrical style than content but this song is fresh. Scanned the crowd to see what Steve Stoute thought, but he probably wasn't invited...
The Queen Bee was in the house and Puff got to talking...and talking some more. Word is this was only about half the album. We didn't even get to hear the joint with Cassie Nicole from the Pussy Cat Dolls ("Come To Me"). As we dipped he played "Special Feeling" and it sounded like some spacely Prince in purple drag music. The verdict; more hate because Mr. Bad Boy sounds like he is about to win, again. Take that.