Los Angeles, CA – September 13, 2023
Sean Combs, the legendary music mogul, returns to the spotlight with a renewed sense of purpose and a long-awaited solo studio album titled “The Love Album: Off the Grid,” set to release this Friday after a 17-year hiatus.
Combs, often known as Puff Daddy, Diddy, and now Love, welcomes you into his world through his lavish Los Angeles estate, where art, music, and introspection converge. Visitors are greeted by a striking Anish Kapoor sculpture, and inside, the living room boasts Kerry James Marshall’s “Past Times,” a poignant artwork exploring themes of Black identity, wealth, and leisure, purchased by Combs for $21.1 million in 2018.
Wandering through his opulent home, you’ll pass a dining room adorned with Jeanneret chairs and finally reach the backyard, which houses an inviting pool and several auxiliary structures. It was in one of these structures that Combs was found one Tuesday afternoon, eagerly discussing his return to music with FunkFlex from “New York’s Hot 97 radio station.”
Combs, dressed casually in all-black attire, exuded an air of confidence. Attendees were always within arm’s reach, ready to fulfill his needs promptly.
The discussions revolved around the medley Combs would perform at the “MTV Video Music Awards,”which was scheduled days before the release of his album. Combs shared his excitement for reconnecting with his audience and expressed a desire to connect with people genuinely.
During these conversations, rapper Caresha, a close friend and occasional romantic partner, joined the discussion via FaceTime. Combs’s teenage twin daughters, Jessie and D’Lila, added warmth to the studio visit. As the creative process continued, Combs brainstormed ways to make the album cover a work of art in itself.
Combs’s journey to this moment of musical revival has been profound. He has embraced new perspectives, psychedelic experiences, and a self-reinvention, transitioning to the name Love. The deep challenges of recent years, including the loss of loved ones, brought Combs to a point of reflection and transformation.
Despite his massive success, Combs remains dissatisfied with the barriers that still exist for Black entrepreneurs in the upper echelons of society. He sees how the media often appropriates the success of Black individuals, masking inequality with an illusion of inclusion. Combs aims to counter this by launching Empower Global, an online platform dedicated to Black businesses and entrepreneurship, drawing inspiration from tragic events like the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
As he explains, “If I’m doing better, that doesn’t mean we’re doing better. I’m here for ‘we.'”
Combs has also delved into the realm of psychedelics, particularly psychedelic toad venom, which he describes as life-altering. The experiences have given him a fresh perspective and prompted him to look beyond conventional norms.
Music, too, has played a pivotal role in his journey. Combs’s return to music signifies a return to his core, the essence of his dreams. “Music had always fueled all of my dreams,” he reflects. “So when I stopped music, I kind of stopped dreaming.” “The Love Album” features a fusion of modern sensuality and smooth talk. Collaborations with artists such as The Weeknd, Summer Walker, Mary J. Blige, Justin Bieber, and Burna Boy contribute to a vibrant and engaging musical experience. Combs enlisted Babyface, a master of R&B, to work on “Kim Porter,” a heartfelt seven-minute tribute to his ex-partner