Recorded between 2008 and 2010, and 3 years in the making, Sean 'P. Diddy' Comb's fifth album, Last Train To Paris, is an emotionally driven cameo-packed "electro-hip-hop-soul funk" musical narrative that follows his alter ego on a journey from London to Paris as he chases the girl of his dreams. With this concept informing the lyrical focus from beginning to end the album is a vulnerable outpour of raw emotion and feeling that shuns stereotypical clichés of contemporary commercial hip hop being predominantly obsessed with pure sex and affluence.
The album is credited to Diddy Dirty Money, a new trio consisting of Combs and singers Kaleena Harper and Dawn Richard who not only add their vocal talent but also bring a welcome female perspective to the material, playing opposing roles to Combs' conflicted playboy character. On top of this there is a serious amount of guest vocal talent and producer input, including Grace Jones, Swizz Beatz, Usher, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, T.I., Skylar Gray, Jay-Z and Drake. There are also surprising contributions from fashion's elite including American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Marc Jacobs. The production is stellar throughout, incorporating a wide variety of different genre influences all filtered into a cohesive and engaging whole; the album is undoubtedly slick but bears a warmth that clearly comes from the creative fun that went into its making and that also makes it an enjoyable and fun album to listen to.
Last Train To Paris is a highly enjoyable ride, an introspective yet upbeat emotional dance album, epic and modest at the same time and while brimming with talent everything is perfectly contained to suit the material. If you haven't climbed aboard yet then what are you waiting for?
Diddy Dirty Money will go on tour to support Last Train To Paris from March 2011
We were lucky enough to be invited to the Diddy Dirty Money dinner prior to the album launch party in Paris. The dinner was held at L'Arc from 11pm for a small group of around thirty, with guests including Combs and his crew, the Caten twins and David Guetta. Diddy was extremely friendly and in high spirits following the meal as the restaurant staff emerged with a giant novelty cake depicting the Arc de Triomphe with the words 'Last Train To Paris' written in icing. Dinner finished at the unusally late hour of 1am at which point we descended into the VIP area of the restaurant's club which was adorned with a seemingly infinite amount of Champagne and Ciroc vodka. Thanks Diddy, we approve.