"What's changed but the name?" P. Diddy asks in his new single, "Bad Boy For Life." Well, apparently he's also devised a new creative formula for making hits.
"No, we're not doing a remake," Diddy told MTV News earlier this month. Diddy was in his Daddy's House studio working with David Bowie on a new version of Bowie's 1985 cut "This Is Not America" for the "Training Day" soundtrack.
"I am moving forward as a producer and as an artist," PD explained. "I just don't want to sample a record and call up David and we just do the same thing and somebody raps on it. It's a totally different track."
"I'm in the studio recording with Sean," Bowie said, backing up his collaborator. "We're doing live vocals. It's not really so much like a sampling kind of affair. The first time we did it we had a lot fun, it was kind of cool, but we might as well have phoned in our performances, because it was done 2,000, 3,000 miles apart. This time, really, it's like a nice thing."
Bowie was referring to "Been Around the World," off of Puff Daddy's No Way Out LP, where Puff jacked the track from Bowie's "Let's Dance."
"This version's definitely got a menace," Bowie said of "This Is Not America." "The beats will be very interesting because it's definitely moved on from what you'd expect. There's a fast techno flavor to it. It's got an aggression to it that really reflects the movie, which I think is a good thing."
"This Is Not America" originally appeared on the soundtrack to the Sean Penn/Timothy Hutton film "The Falcon and the Snowman."
"Training Day" stars Denzel Washington as a veteran police officer trying to school his rookie partner, Ethan Hawke, about the gritty streets they watch over. The movie's director, Antoine Fuqua, suggested the Bowie/Diddy collaboration.
"He had this idea to do something that kind of followed the theme of the famous David Bowie track," PD said. "So when I listened to it, I was like, 'you know I am interested in doing it,' but I just want to do something that's now.
"And also," he added, "I wanted to make sure it helped out with the movie. 'Cause right now when people do soundtracks I just think at times it's just a bunch of records, nobody is making a record in mind for the soundtrack like it used to be."
Diddy, like the rest of us, will get to see if his peers follow his thematic cohesiveness when the soundtrack hits stores on September 11 and the movie arrives in theaters 10 days later.
Although the soundtrack is still being put together, most of the songs have been submitted. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, who also appear in the film, will be heard with "Cops DR2" and "I Can't Take It," respectively. Meanwhile, C-Murder and Trick Daddy combine for a remake of N.W.A's groundbreaking "F--- Tha Police" with "Watch the Police." The soundtrack's producers have also dug in the vault for Tupac and the Outlaw's "Letter to the Pres." Gang Starr, Pharoahe Monch, the LOX, Nelly and Cypress Hill will also be featured.