It’s official: Diddy has boarded the crazy music train.
The king of hype has taken the art to a new level, announcing plans to release the high-concept album Last Train to Paristhis fall, a would-be “electro-hip-hop soul funk” masterpiece that culminates in a love-seeking Eurail journey from London to Paris.
“I’m ushering in a new movement called ‘train music,’ ” the rapper turned wannabe-serious actor said.
“Last Train to Paris is deeper than any of the stuff I have made. It’s a profound love story. It’s me with my shades off. It’s the truth.”
It’s also coming part and parcel with a movie version of the album, starring—who else?—Diddy himself.
Trapped in the Closet‘s got nothing on him.
Combs told MTV News this week that the album will not be a solo effort, instead will be a group endeavor comprised of Diddy and two as-yet-unnamed female bandmates. The arc will follow Diddy‘s character as he tours overseas and finds the woman of his dreams—only to lose her, find her, lose her again and, (spoiler alert?) find her a final time.
“We get together, she’s attached to my hip…I tell her to come to New York, Miami, all the places where I get it poppin’, where I really do s—t,” he said. “You know how men pop s—t like men do sometimes when they’re trying to make a woman fall in love.”
The duo experiences a misunderstanding and parts ways again.
“So, I go on tour, and I’m in London,” the storyboarder extraordinaire told MTV News. “I get a tip that she’s in Paris, and it’s 9:45 p.m. or something. It’s one of the foggiest days in London, so I can’t take my plane. I can’t drive, the road is shut down. The only way I can get there is the last train to Paris…
“It’s that whole intensity of what happens on the train ride—and will she be there when I get there—is something else you’ll hear.”
Diddy is expected to go into production on the accompanying movie in May, though was quick to rebut claims that this would be his Purple Rain.
“It’s not like I’m playing Prince and s—t,” he said.
The album, due out Sept. 22, will be Diddy’s first since 2007’s Press Play and features collaborations with producers the Neptunes, T-Pain, Rodney Jerkins, Tricky and The-Dream, among other hot shots.
“I’ve been a businessman for the past two years. It’s time for me to focus on being an artist again. I am going to show the world a new refreshing side of me. Get on or get off!”
If you thought Diddy’s smash LP Press Play was high on concept, get ready for his next project. The New York media giant is taking it to that proverbial creative place recognized around the world as “there.” And when he takes it there, he will not be alone. Diddy is part of team on the album he’s titled Last Train to Paris, scheduled for September 22.
“It’s a profound love story, man,” Sean Combs told MTV News Wednesday night via phone from L.A. “It’s about this tumultuous love roller-coaster relationship that occurs. It’s everything from love, pain, sex, God, celebration. It’s a lot of things rolled into one. It’s a conceptual album.”
“One of the things, I wanna give you that’s not out there yet is that it’s not me as a solo artist,” Diddy added. “It’s a group I put together; myself and two girls. Two young ladies, you may know them or you may not. It’s almost like some back-in-the-day Loose Ends-type sh–. We’re going to be telling the story of Last Train to Paris.”
The story of the album starts when Diddy’s character and his female bandmates go on tour overseas, where he meets the woman of his dreams.
“I’m infatuated with her, really blown away,” Diddy said. “We wind up spending the night together. I never get her name. When I wake up, she’s gone. A couple of months go by, and I bump into her again on tour overseas. We get together, and she’s attached to my hip. For three months! She’s on my hip for three months. I tell her to come to New York, Miami, all the places where I get it poppin’, where I really do sh–. You know how men pop sh–, like men do sometimes when they’re trying to make a woman fall in love.”
As the story unfolds, Diddy and his love have a misunderstanding and separate.
“She just breaks out on a n—a,” Combs revealed. “But an absence makes the heart grow fonder. She’s singing to me; I’m performing to her. We’re in two different parts of the world. She’s remembering all the good times, and I’m thinking about if I had another chance, I wouldn’t f— it up. So, I go on tour and I’m in London. I get a tip that she’s in Paris, and it’s 9:45 p.m. or something. It’s one of the foggiest days in London, so I can’t take my plane. I can’t drive, the road is shutdown. The only way I can get there is the last train to Paris, and it leaves in 20 minutes and I’m 15 minutes away. It’s that whole intensity of what happens on the train ride — and will she be there when I get there — is something else you’ll hear.”
The presentation of Last Train to Paris won’t just be for your listening pleasure. Puff Daddy is also going in front of the cameras to include a short film with the CD.
“A movie is going to be shot to it too,” Diddy said. “It’s definitely going be an album you can seamlessly see. Not after the fact. When you get the album on that day, September 22, you will be able to see the whole album on your computer. I go into production of the movie in May.”
“The movie is more of visual presentation. It’s not like I’m playing Prince and sh–,” he added, dismissing the notion that Last Train will be his “Purple Rain.” “You know how, when you on your computer and you’re listening to an album, you have your screen-saver on — instead of screen save, you’ll be able to see the album in motion. And the presentation of the album will be different from the videos. I’m out here in L.A. right now, meeting with directors. I’m looking for somebody who can do it within the budget and do it guerrilla style.”
Diddy laughed when he said that blockbuster guru Steven Spielberg will not be on his list.“Cross him off,” the mogul joked. “I’m looking for the hot film student.”
With a while until the project has to be in stores, Diddy hasn’t confirmed his guest list of people that will get on the mic for him, but production-wise, he has a pretty prestigious core on his side. The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Rodney Jerkins, the Hitmen, T-Pain, Mario Winans and the Neptunes have all contributed lyrics and beats.
Pharrell Williams also talked to MTV News about the project on Wednesday. “I thought it was sick,” he said of Diddy’s concept. “I think he’s a super-smart guy who knows where things are going. He told me, ‘Yo, just make me sick beats. I want them to dance; I want them to have a good time.’ … I was like, ‘Wow.’ For me, it was like making music for a movie.”
“The album is going to be hard,” he said of the sonic feel. “It ain’t going to be no European dance/trance music. The clubs I’m in, they don’t play that. I’m from a club [called] DC10 in Ibiza. That’s what kind of gave me inspiration for this album and that sh– is funky and soulful and hard. A lot of cats have got on dance music and fused sh– together recently. I think they have a done a great job. I’m showing a different club. The club I’m bringing to the mainstream is at the after-hours club, the underground club.”
Diddy said he currently in the process of trademarking the name of the group that he will be in for the album, as well was figuring out how he is going title the LP. It may be “Diddy as …” or just Diddy. He also said he’ll have a new series coming up on MTV called “Making His Band,” which will be about finding the musicians he wants to tour with.