How Diddy Got His Groove Back

How Diddy Got His Groove Back

For Sean Combs, the biggest wake-up call (for him and the people who know him best) was that he no longer wanted to create. It's been eight years since his last release, the Money Making Mitch mixtape, which was billed as Puff Daddy's return to his vibrant, supple '90s roots. It has been 13 years since his last album , Last Train to Paris , the groundbreaking hybrid of R&B, techno and rap that he released under the name Dirty Money. But whatever the moniker, and if it ever comes to light, it's always been assumed that Diddy, one of the biggest musical inspirations of the past 30 years, is always in the studio working on something .

Until he did. Diddy turned 50 in 2019, a year after the death of Kim Porter, the mother of his three children, and a year before the death of his longtime mentor, Andre Harrell. These events, along with the normal rhythms of aging, wealth, fame and the youngest veteran of a musical genre, have contributed to an unusual midlife crisis. No wonder Diddy stopped dancing.

"I talked to Jay-Z and said, 'Hey, I don't want to go to the studio anymore,'" Diddy told me. "I was like, 'Damn, this is ... just different.' I don't know where the love is. I don't make music anymore." And he said, "It's really sad, man."

It's a slightly odd story about a conversation between two rap titans that created one of the coolest songs of the '90s, to the point that Diddy himself was surprised to discover a way to make it disappear.

"I thought, 'How sad, '" he laughs. “Fuck Jay-Z just told me I was boring. I don't know how to turn it back on. And one day God came to me, and God was a woman. Then He said: "The time has come, my dear."

To find himself, to rediscover the job he once loved, Diddy renamed himself Love (he made it official with his new middle name at the DMV) and, in his words, "fell off the radar." (Which, judging by the album's gorgeous trailer, means exotic locations with no phones and no girlfriends, including Jung's former partner in Miami City Girls.) So, their first project in nearly a decade: The Love Album: Off the Grid, which was just announced to me and several other writers at the Whitby Hotel in New York a week before its release on September 15th.

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