Diddy and Lil' Kim were a part of so many hit records together, you wouldn't think that it has been more than a half-decade since they worked together. The pair haven't teamed up since 2000's Notorious K.I.M., and on Wednesday, not only did their time away from each other end, but Kim's hiatus from rapping altogether ceased.
Diddy debuted a remix of his hit single "Last Night" on his MySpace page that features Keyshia Cole, Busta Rhymes and Lil' Kim. It's the first time the Queen Bee has been in a song since coming home from prison last summer (see "Lil' Kim Released From Prison").
"Yeah, it was good getting back with her," Diddy said Wednesday. "We got everything on point [with our friendship] right before she went to jail. When she got out, I was right on the phone with her and we were talking about doing something. We got history together, and it was only right that the first song she's done since she's been out was a joint I produced. She's on a big hit record. She's sounding good and strong. I'm a witness. I was in the studio with her. She ain't miss a beat. She wasn't rusty or nothing. She stepped it up and was even doing some singing too. Her bounce is classic and it's necessary. She definitely is the queen of the game."
The beat of the record is different from the album version, recalling "Erotic City," Prince's 1984 duet with Sheila E. Lil' Kim and Diddy start off the track by telling fans to use the song for their ringtone, and then Kim tells a story of turning the tables on a boyfriend who's making her miserable.
"Just left the club in ATL/ Message on my Blackberry and my cell," she raps. "Go outside check the voicemail/ N---a said, 'I'm mad as hell'/ When I was locked up you ain't visit me/ Nope, not one letter sent to me/ You was in the streets playing P.I.M.P."
Another version of the remix features the Game, Yung Joc, Rich Boy and Big Boi. Of course, a mega-mix that includes everyone is already floating around the Internet.
"You're talking about huge heavy-hitters," Diddy said of his remix lineup. "People who might not even be on the same record together. Just from the whole standpoint of being the cat that has been known for the remixes — I haven't done one like this for a long time where I switch the beat up, re-produce the record. 'Last Night' is such a big record. It's such a blessing."
Diddy credits his latest single with rejuvenating his Press Play LP and said that artists might have bigger album sales if their projects were rolled out a little differently.
"I think a lot of us that came out [with albums last year], the heavy-hitters — with the exception of Justin — could have went with different singles on their album," he said. "I think 'Last Night' is the one people been waiting for and helped legitimize Press Play. It gave it a whole new life to the point where we're dropping another single, which is unheard of. ... It took me getting to my third single, Beyoncé getting to her third single. ... I'm about to shoot three videos. After I see them edited up, I'mma see what I'm dropping next."
Diddy recently ended a long tour run overseas with Snoop Dogg (see "Snoop Dogg Barred From Entering U.K., Cancels Dates With Diddy"). The MCs would love to bring the show back to the States, but Diddy is skeptical.
"Right now, there's a lot of offers. Everybody is all over the place with touring," he said. "Snoop is dealing with his issues, but I support him. He has to get some [legal] clarity on whether he can move around like that. To be honest, I'm so thirsty to hit the stage, I'll be ... headlining radio [festivals] until I figure out what we can do touring-wise."
While he figures out his touring plans, Diddy said he's lining up the next releases for his Bad Boy record label and is officially closing the chapter with one of the label's most famous artists: Mase. Although Mase was still signed to Bad Boy, he caused a tremendous stir a couple of years ago when he announced his intentions to sign with 50 Cent's G-Unit imprint (see "50 And Mase: The Pastor Isn't Officially G-Unit Yet, But A Song Is Already Out"). The rap community was shocked when Mase — who is a pastor — started making music more in line with the G-Unit brand of street-edge records. Mase even went back to calling himself "Murder Mase" and hit the streets with a bevy of freestyles and a mixtape called 10 Years of Hate. Recently, Steve Rifkin, the CEO of SRC — the label home to Akon and David Banner— said he was putting a deal in place to bring Mase to his company.
"That's definitely true," Diddy confirmed. "Me and Steve have been friends for a long time, and me and Mase have stayed in touch. I think his whole vibe would be a good look for the industry. I think it would be great to see if he could go to Steve Rifkin, especially with the success of what he's done with Akon."
For his part, 50 said told MTV U.K. this week that there's no bad feeling over the situation. "I think Puffy was a little uncomfortable with Mase coming to me — feeling that he would be losing Mase to me," 50 said. "We couldn't make a deal. It's cool, me and [Diddy] still communicate with each other. He has the same management [as me, Violator Management]."
[This story was originally published at 6:00 am E.T. on 04.26.2007]