P. Diddy & the Bad Boy Family

To quote Kasey Kasem: “Diddly shit!” Original music is not P. Diddy’s strong suit. If he hopes to the avoid the pitfalls of MC Hammer, he better start focusing on other investments and keep it on the mogul tip à la Russell Simmons. The coolest thing about this CD is that the strapped one is wearing Chris Webber’s Kings No. 4 jersey in most of the liner note photos—probably the reason Webber decided to stay in un-hip Whitesville. Here, Puff surrounds himself with a cast of up-n-coming “hard” characters from the B. Boy Family (Loon, Black Rob, Kokane, Big Azz, others), all “tryin’ to be rich before we stop breathin'.” And if you keep a party aesthetic firmly in mind—you can be like the hordes of 11-year-olds who buy this stuff—celebrating the American Dream via Scarface wannabes. This is basically a sampler of Bad Boy talent (some better than others) with an overall tone of formulaic, macho, champagne tootin’ rap with repetitive sample riffs (electronic blips) and back-up males chiming in the chorus. It has its moments—like a Hollywood effects movie—though this is basically entertaining on a numbing, MTV level, with a shelf life of old milk. Like Chris Rock says, the man “needs a hit like a crackhead needs a hit.”