Ghostwrite the Diddy

Indulgence, let’s start there. Diddy wants the best for his new album, of course: he hires a host of talent, including Kanye, to produce for him. Gets guests who are hot (Cee-Lo) and respected (Nas). And since he’s already come clean about using ghostwriters, why not hire some dudes too to put paper to pen for him (credited or not).

On “Everything I Love” he combines all the elements for what could be a banging track. West digs up the big horns and drops lockstep drum breaks — even dances Cee-Lo around during the chorus. Diddy heaves a little to keep up with the breakneck rhythm, spitting words he’s been practicing since yesterday but never seen before, gaining confidence only after he catches his breath. What comes out of his mouth sounds written by someone else about Diddy, boastfully biographical but parsed together tighter than the man himself could ever write. (The detail about having a worn out American Express Black card is a nice touch.) Nas comes down on the track like a hawk, no lamaze breathing necessary to blow up his bars even. That he can perform his lines takes the sting out of the possibility someone wrote for him too. The grandstanding outro takes indulgence to the limit, dropping a solid minute of rollicking organ solo. Right. Despite this self-satisfying gospel breakdown, the first thing on Diddy’s mind is selling albums. So this record is going to find him wearing a lot of hats to keep up. That said, I can’t tell if I should anticipate his record or not. The list of anticipated releases is looking awfully short these days.

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