From Biggie to Mase to Loon, P. Diddy's Bad Boys almost always portray themselves as heartbreaking playboys. But Mario "Yellow Man" Winans intends to break the mold and show that guys can get their feelings trampled as well.
"Men got hearts too," Winans said from Florida last week. "I just wanna speak for all of them. I understand men make mistakes and mess up, but it doesn't mean we're not human. We've been dogged for the longest. We've been hurt too."
Winans said we'll hear a slew of stories about his relationship calamities on Hurt No More, due April 20.
"You'll find a lot of stories about love and betrayal on my new album," he explained. "Hurt and pain. A lot of stories about how I feel about a woman and the emotions a woman can bring from me. A lot of true experiences God has blessed me to write about."
The title may suggest that Yellow Man has risen from the depths of despair, but you wouldn't know it from his new single and video, "I Don't Wanna Know." The dude is hurt and refuses to come to grips with reality. In fact, Mario is so gone over his girl that he takes a bath and forgets to disrobe.
"I come home with pictures of my girl, knowing she done kissed another guy," Winans explained of the video. "I'm going through all these emotions of not really wanting to know, not wanting to face it. It's to the point where I get in the tub with all my clothes on. It's tearing me up inside."
"I Don't Wanna Know," featuring P. Diddy, took on a life of its own. It wasn't the obvious choice for the album's first single, but radio programmers and DJs gravitated toward it when it appeared on mixtapes, so Bad Boy had no choice but to release it officially.
"I was so excited about that. It was definitely one of my favorite songs on the album," Winans said of the track, which samples Enya's "Boadicea." The Fugees flipped the same beat a few years ago for their classic "Ready or Not."
"I first heard 'Boadicea' at the end of the movie 'Sleepwalkers' about five or six years ago. It's something I always wanted to produce. Then when the Fugees did it, oh my God, I loved it."
Several "remix" versions of "I Don't Wanna Know" have popped up on mixtapes. MCs like J. Hood have rhymed on the song, either adding verses to P.D.'s rap or replacing him altogether. Winans said none of them is sanctioned by Bad Boy and that his own down-South-flavored remix is coming soon.
Winans has also recorded with Kelis and Slim of 112. The latter ditty, "You Knew," was recorded in Diddy's hotel room in Australia during a Bad Boy tour.