Diddy-Dirty Money / Last Train To Paris / Universal
In the opening of “Yeah Yeah You Would” listeners are cued to expect a “brand new sound” that will “change their life” if they just turn it up. What they get are some artfully modernized takes on mid-90s’ hip hop featuring some star-studded vocal cameos, tied together by the great lynch pin that is Sean “P-Diddy” Combs. The selling point (gimmick) behind Last Train to Paris was Combs had taken singers Dawn Richard and Kalenna Harper like two young Padawans under his Jedi wing to form a band. While they have resisted the term “backup singers” in the press, a more accurate and telling name for the group might be “Diddy and the Dirty Moneys”.
Consider that, of the 18 songs featured on the deluxe edition of the debut, the girls are attributed co-writer credits on barely one quarter of the songs. Granted, when they are given the reins, as on the dreamy club grinder “Ass on the Floor”, they don’t disappoint. Still, it’s the armies of synthesizers and collaborators including artists such as Usher, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Drake, Lil Wayne, and yes, Notorious B.I.G., that shine as the true stars of Last Train to Paris. While not life changing, it still feels like, with this debut, Diddy–Dirty Money has delivered something new – even if it does feature a Biggie verse recycled from 1996. It’s a 21st century hip hop love album, not perfect, but certainly progressive and definitely Diddy.
Download: “Ass On The Floor”, “Angels”
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