Available on: Last Train to Paris, Bad Boy LP
Released late last year, Diddy’s Last Train to Paris makes for an interesting companion to Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Both star-studded ensemble projects, the former didn’t receive half the fanfare that Kanye’s opus did – and don’t get me wrong, isn’t as good – but at points is certainly close to its equal in terms of the record’s studio results matching its dark ambition.
At the record’s centre point, you have ‘Shades’, a slow jam just shy of six minutes. Lil Wayne does his best impression of a drug-addled Andre 3000 on the spoken word intro, the chords on Diddy and Mario Winan’s production curling up from the floor like steam from a man-hole before settling into a filter-heavy groove that’s closer in mood to dungeon techno than the sample-based Hollywood rap Diddy’s synonymous with. The music slowly builds with off-key synths similar to Floating Points’ ‘Shark Chase’, and the vocals follow suit; the track’s last chorus an ecstasy of harmonies. The best bit though? “Girl if you want / I’d pour a gallon of gasoline on my heart just to light your cigarette / girl if you want… I’ll even take off my shades.” If those aren’t words to live and die by, then I don’t know what is.