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How'd Diddy do on 'SNL'?

By CHRIS ELLIOTT    Well, Diddy diddled with his name again. Did he? Yes, he did. Sean Combs, aka Puffy, aka Puff Daddy, aka Puff, aka P Diddy, aka Daddy Diddy, aka Sean John. Diddy’s new crew is called Diddy Dirty Money, the entertainment portion of tonight’s episode of SNL, and he was superb. I am in a default position of admiring Sean Combs’ business acumen and not his work, but I must give DDM a borderline rave review for this evening’s performance.

His first selection was “Coming Home,” a self-revelatory, partially arrhythmic rap vocal supported by a great arrangement featuring live drums and strings, and spectacular backing vocals. The mix was excellent, and DDM’s vocal was clearly articulated, and believe it or not, believable. He cites three song titles, the first being Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown,” stating that he has always hated the song, as he has always felt that it is about him. It may be tough to feel sympathy for the travails of a half- billionaire music and fashion mogul, but he effectively communicates the loss of sense of self that happens in the lives of many celebrities. DDM expresses that notion succinctly: “It’s easy to be Puff, it’s harder to be Sean.”   (WATCH VIDEO)

"Kayak Asshole" -- a folk parody

Secondly he cites “A House is not a Home” by Dionne Warwick, another heartbreaking lyric for the Didster, as it underlines the surface nature of success relative to a rich, satisfying family life. He ends his song references with “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now,” holding its message up as trying to see the best of the path that led him to where he is, alongside a redemptive view of the future. Shakespeare it ain’t, but in its context, it is believable, sincere and heartfelt. The arrangement leaves plenty of free time at the ends of verses which DDM makes the most of, improvising and exhorting his band to make the most of the moment.

For his second piece, the Puffy one leaned more heavily on his back vocal lineup and secondary rapper, and all turn in a good enough performance. The secondary rapper is only okay, though he is not asked to do much, mostly repeating the song’s hook, “When you’re in the club you dance so low…” The backing vocalists had some minor pitch problems, but overall nailed the performance, and were a critical component of this super high energy dance club killer. The high point of the tune was again DDM’s contribution, and I’m sure he planned it that way. Overall high marks from this desk. A rose by any other is still a rose, as it is with a Diddy.

VIDEO: "DRILL SERGEANT LOSES IT" (Elliott in action!)

Posted on November 5, 2010 8:17 AM | Permalink

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