The Bottom Line
It has been a long time since Diddy has released a pop hit single to match the size of his public persona. "I Need a Girl" rolled into the pop top 5 back in 2002 in two different versions, and he has not been back since. Now, with some significant help from red hot friends like Jay-Z, Alex Da Kid, and Skylar Grey (Holly Brook), it looks like he may indeed be back. The good news is this song does have real emotional autobiographical power, and a hook that is memorable.
- Beautiful pop sung hook
- Diddy's autobiographical lyrics
- Clever lyric structured around classic soul songs
- Drama level is a bit toned down for the subject matter
- Written by Holly Brook, Jermaine Cole, Shawn Carter, and Alexander Grant
- Produced by Alex Da Kid and Jay-Z
- Released November 2010 by Bad Boy Entertainment
Guide Review - Diddy - Dirty Money - "Coming Home" featuring Skylar Grey
It is hard to believe at this point that Sean Combs, aka Diddy, has been a major figure in the music industry for more than 15 years now. It has been four years since his last studio album Press Play saw the light of day. Now, Last Train To Paris is finally on its way with "Coming Home" leading the way among pop audiences. Diddy pulls together some of the biggest creative collaborators in current pop oriented hip hop. Producer Alex Da Kid spent many weeks at or near the top of the pop singles chart this year with "Airplanes" and "Love the Way You Lie." Holly Haferman, aka Holly Brook and Skylar Grey, is a primary songwriter of "Love the Way You Lie." Then there is Jay-Z pitching in on production duties. Does it work? In a word, yes.
A key element of the success in the song is the autobiographical tone of the lyrics. Clever references to three classic soul songs, two of which Diddy says he hates to hear and one he loves, give a strong lyrical structure to the song. He gives credit to McFadden and Whitehead's classic "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" for providing strength to return home a strong man and even deal with the still unsolved murder of his close friend and early collaborator the Notorious B.I.G. It is all linked together by the beautiful chorus sung by Skylar Grey.
"Coming Home" does not have the intensity of emotional impact of "Love the Way You Lie," but instead it delivers a warmth and sense of hope that is a good match with the current holiday season. There may be a lot to forgive, most notably the seemingly elephant sized ego, but "Coming Home" is a good argument for welcoming Diddy back to the upper ranks of pop-oriented hip hop artists. More than a decade ago Diddy truly was a pioneer in blending hip hop with pop melodies. Welcome back...you are coming home.