As a recording artist, Diddy is pretty damn mediocre. With a voice that couldn't be duller if his speech was actually slurred by multiple bullet wounds, his latest record proves that he should stay behind the mixing board, and let his famous friends do the vocal parts.
The first five tracks of Press Play, all Diddy solos, feel like the longest, most monotonous slog of a wait to the much more interesting "featuring [insert de rigeur artist(s) here]" tracks that fill out the rest of the album. Just a cross section of the 19 extremely talented high-profile collaborators that Diddy attracted to the disc shows that he's far from rusty when it comes to producing some quality, danceable beats. Artists like Christina Aguilera in all her big-band glory, high-RPM rapper Twista, Cee-lo of Gnarls Barkley and Goodie Mob, and Big Boi of OutKast contribute with panache, but they are inevitably weighed down by Diddy and his boring-ass slur.
Though he has become a bit of a novelty through his vanity and materialism, Press Play shows that Diddy still has that golden ear that made him big in the first place. If he would just quit changing his name and, well, rapping, it's possible that he could regain enough credibility to be taken seriously again.