Sean Combs, the man with a myriad of nicknames, surrounds himself with some of the biggest names in music on Press Play, his 5th album. With nearly as many features as Biggie’s Duets: The Final Chapter, Press Play boasts a diverse mix of popular artists (Mary J. Blige, Nas, Christina Aguilera, Twista), as well as top-notch producers (Kanye West, Just Blaze, The Neptunes, Timbaland), Diddy has become one of the richest rappers in the world today.
A New Name, A New Chapter
Said to have been the product of a full year’s worth of work, Press Play finds the newly-christened Diddy with a worldly focus. In a recent interview Diddy explained back in 2006: “As time evolved, and I started traveling around the world and going into dance and techno clubs, I began to see music from a global point of view…It all came together on Press Play— all those sounds in my head.” As the title would suggest, Press Play plays as a soundtrack, each song transiting smoothly into the next one. Furthermore, the second half of the album flows seamlessly, describing and portraying the ups and downs of relationships, from the infatuation (“Special Feeling”) and the quarrels (“Through the Pain”), to the “happy ending” (“Partners for Life”).
Some Things Never Change
Though, Press Play showcases the mature, albeit schmaltzy, side of Diddy, the man who “runs this city” still runs his mouth. Pompous as ever, Diddy drops arrogant lines like he dropped the “P.” from his moniker: On “We Gon’ Make It,” he quips: “When it was “All About the Benjamins” I had two bezels on my arm/ Like a don’s supposed to…Sean.” On “The Future,” Diddy boasts of “executive” proportions: “The potential to be the first Black president/ iTunes download me in every resident.” “Puffed”-up as ever, the name may have changed (again and again), but it’s still the same ol’ Bad Boy.
The Bottom Line on Press Play
With its diverse assembly of sounds and styles, Press Play offers something for everyone. Still, the album comes across as off-the-wall for conventional hip-hop listeners or anyone in search of a specific sound. For these reasons, Press Play will most likely find the listener pressing fast-forward here and there. Nonetheless, Diddy and friends present a nice, eclectic musical journey on Press Play.
Top Tracks from Press Play
- “I Am (Interlude)” featuring Aasim
- “Everything I Love” featuring Nas & Cee-Lo
- “Hold Up”
- “Partners for Life” featuring Jamie Foxx & Pharrell