real good today. I'm doing real good. I'm just blessed. I'm out here on
the road, working, promoting the album. It's one of the greatest feelings
when you're about to drop an album.
awhile since you dropped an album. What inspired your new album Press
I wanted to put out some good music. It's about having a love for it.
want to appear to a broader audience with your single "Tell Me"
featuring Christina Aguilera?
really try to go into this with a premeditated plan to have a more international
feel or pop appeal or hardcore hip-hop feel. I just went into it to make
the best music that I could and to make the best album that I could.
Play has a very diverse list of guest appearances. How do you choose to
I treat it
like a director. I try to figure out who would be the best in the different
scenes in the movie. Whether it's me, Nas and Cee-Lo on "Everything
I Love," produced by Kanye West, I felt that was the greatest collaboration
on that track. Or when it's New York meets Atlanta like "Wanna Move,"
I thought it would be best with Big Boy, Ciara and Scar. Whether it's
on a hip-hop soul track produced by Just Blaze or whatever, I try to pick
the best people for that track.
of Press Play did you write?
on this album is I wrote rhymes and I wrote checks. I did a lot of co-writing
on this album. That's something I'm proud of. I sat down and I came up
with the concepts and I came up with what I wanted to discuss. I take
a lot of pride in stepping up my game and doing writing on this album.
It's like having somebody to go back and forth with. Sometimes two heads
is better than one to go back and forth. It gives you a lot of versatility
in your writing and in order to make a personal album, you have to put
the pen to the pad, which I did.
done a lot of different types of music throughout your career. How would
you define your style?
I try to
define great music. I've been inspired by all types of music. I come from
the era of hip-hop soul and I think my music has even evolved to new age
hip-hop on this album. I think that I've always been able to create things
on the melody and I always try to make good songs.
Gon' Make It," it has the same "Shaft in Africa" sample
as Jay's "Show Me What You Got." Which version do you like better?
I like it
both ways. I'm not in any competition with Jay. It's a strange coincidence,
but that's the way God wanted it. It feels good to be on the same wavelength
as an artist as great as Jay-Z. We used a lot of the similar producers
on this album because they're our friends and people we've worked with.
A lot of times great minds think alike. Now DJ's are cutting one record
right after the other. It's been a good thing.
your goals for Press Play?
to get the music out there right now. I'm not really focused on sales.
I'm trying to put the music out there. I'm in it for the long haul. We
all want it to sell as good as we can sell, but it's going to be what
it's going to be. I feel like I have a deep album which is different.
I feel like I'm in it for the long haul. I'm going to put out six singles
on this album and you're going to eventually have to go get this album.
That's just the way I feel.
at your position in the game as well as Jay-Z's, how do you feel about
fans saying New York is dead?
has to handle its own. We can't be whining. We got to step up our creativity
and I look forward to all of the albums coming out from New York artists
whether it's Nas, Jay or new artists on my label like Aasim. If we ain't
running shit this year, we have to handle it. The South is running it
and all we can do is try to do our best. New York is like the Yankees.
Sometimes they don't win. The only thing we can do is step up for next
year and try to do our best to win a championship. It ain't heavy competition
like that. I think a lot of New York artists are just trying to find their
artistry because all the different sounds kind of got cats a little confused.
would Biggie be today if he were alive today?
greatest right now and he would be the greatest if he were alive.
time do you spend on MySpace each day?
I have somebody
who travels with me and we also have a home base. I answer the replies
myself and I handle all the programming myself. It's my personal site.
I'm definitely on there a couple of hours out of the day.
people crack your Top 24?
I take people
who are my friends or family and they get in my Top 8. Sometimes I also
get requests and sometimes I honor those requests.
internet changing how you market your future records at Bad Boy?
Yeah. I definitely
think that the internet has totally changed the way that we market and
the way that we view interaction with fans. We're totally embracing it,
not half-assed embracing it, and embracing it through all the formats
and making it fun. It's a great medium.
you're a big fashion guy and I'm completely the opposite. How can I preserve
my sexy on an Old Navy budget?
about what something costs. It's about taking the time to get what looks
good on you. Don't go with the trendy pieces so you can rock them more
than once. I don't like going for things that are so busy and are so one
way that I can't rock them again. I like breaking things in and getting
you want to say to everybody?
out there, I know y'all have been hearing about me for a long time. I'm
grateful that I've found a way to communicate with people on the internet
so y'all can really get to know me. To everybody, and there have been
millions of people on Diddy.com, MySpace and YouTube, I just appreciate
your support. Go buy the album and press play. It will make you feel good.
Album 'Press Play' in stores October 17.