NEW YORK — Diddy hopes fans press play on his new LP next week, but he pushed the button on his promotional campaign a few weeks ago, gassing up the jet and traveling the country.
On Friday, he was home in New York partying at the Stone Rose Lounge in Manhattan to help launch Best Buy's online digital-music store. He also previewed a few tracks from his fourth LP, Press Play, due October 17 (see "Press Play On Diddy's October LP, Hear Christina, Kanye, Mary J.").
"I'm really proud of the artwork because I'm blue," Diddy laughed at the podium, holding up the cover for his album, which features his face with a bluish tint to it. "I've never been blue. I've always been into, like, caramel skin. This is a futuristic look for me. The album is real hot too. I'm naked on the inside — you have to buy the album to find out [if that's true]."
After the launch, Diddy sat down and talked about the album potentially being his swan song as an artist.
"To be honest, I would love for it to be the last one," he said. "My first couple of albums talked about drama, death, tragedy, controversy — ups and downs. This album is about love. I would love to end it on a note of love. I don't want to overstay my welcome. I ain't never been a cat to overdo it; I don't want to overdo it now. I feel like I'm at my best on this album. It makes people feel good when they hear it.
"So many things at the end of the day are my strong points," he added. "I look forward to my acting career. But right now, the focus is on Press Play and us doing the best thing for that."
Diddy was also quick to mention that several other hip-hop artists have talked about retiring in the past and haven't stuck to it. He hasn't exactly made his mind up yet and will probably think more about it once Press Play has run its course.
One of his new songs, "I Am," finds Diddy rhyming over a soul beat. Then there's "Diddy Rock," a Timbaland-produced track featuring Twista and Disturbing Tha Peace's Shawnna. Diddy describes the record as "international soul food." Just Blaze helmed "Tell Me" and Kanye West provided the beat for "Everything I Love." He worked with a few other friends too.
"Working with Cee-Lo from Gnarls Barkley and Nas, it's like working with the people I've always worked with," he said. "They were both on my Forever album; they've both been longtime friends of mine. Us together on a Kanye track, it's uplifting, inspirational, something you need to hear. It's a beast. The song is talking about passion. 'Everything I Love': It's the passion for who you are and what you represent. There ain't never gonna be another Diddy, never gonna be another Nas. Right now, we all feel like we on the top of our game. What's kept us in the game so long has been the love.
"The next [official] single," he continued, "is 'Tell Me' with Christina Aguilera. You gonna hear Christina like you never heard her before. She has so much range in her voice. She can go anywhere. We made a hip-hop soul track. It's gutter. It don't even have no keyboards on the track. She's singing over a crazy Just Blaze banger."
Erick White just directed the video for "Tell Me," which should be out soon. There's also a split video coming for "I Am"/ "Everything I Love" and "Diddy Rock" may be getting its own clip too.