Album Review: Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition
Sean Combs a.k.a. Puff Daddy a.k.a. P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment has released a box set compilation of Hip-Hop and R’nB hits from the past 20 years, the Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition. The collection was curated by Harve Pierre, President of Bad Boy Entertainment and consists of five and a half hours worth of music spread over five discs. This compilation is a celebration of Bad Boy’s contribution to the music industry and a collection music lovers can treasure.
It includes the music of a host of notable artists including; Sean Combs, himself (under his various monikers), The Notorious B.I.G, Faith Evans, Nelly, Boyz n da Hood, Janelle Monáe, Mase, Cassie, 112 to name a few. It also includes a number of featured artists; Eminem, R. Kelly, Nicole Scherzinger and even Enya. There is something in there for every generation of Hip-Hop and R’nB music lovers.
There’s a great selection of tracks to get your groove on. Mase’s funk soul track Feel So Good (1997), with its well known hook,will definitely get you bouncing. The shimmering track Love Like This (1998) by Faith Evans features as the opening on the second disc. Dance With Me (Radio Mix) (2001) by Beanie Sigel and 112 is a different take on a dance track because it features minimal instrumentation but uses an interesting rhythmic singing style. Shake Ya Tail Feather (2003) by Nelly featuring Diddy and Murphy Lee is a dance floor go to! Mo Money Mo Problems (1997) by The Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy and Mase also has a funk-soul feel. Bad Boy For Life (2001) is, of course, one of the gems on the album. It’s the kind of track you want to crank up to 11.
It wouldn’t be a collection of R’nB and Hip-Hop music with out including some sexually charged numbers like Satisfy You (1999) featuring R. Kelly on the hook; Peaches & Cream (2001) by 112 the R’nB quartet; and I Need A Girl (Part two) (2002) by P. Diddy, Ginuwine, Loon, Mario Winans and Tammy Ruggeri.
Of course, there is a healthy dose of gangster rap for you to revisit old feuds and listen out to the thrilling disses as in Victory (1998) by P. Diddy and the Family, Busta Rhymes and The Notorious B.I.G.. The first disc closes with The Notorious B.I.G’s very first single, Juicy (1994), from his debut album Ready To Die. It delves into his rise to fame and the struggles he faced on the way up. Money, Power & Respect (1998) by DMX, Lil’ Kim and The Lox is another hip-hop staple.
There are some beautiful ballad-style songs that shows Bad Boy’s softer side. Faith Evans’s You Used To Love Me (1995) is a smooth soul song. All My Love (Interlude) (2004) by Carl Thomas is a sensual R’nB track. I Don’t Wanna Know (2003) by Diddy and Mario Winans features a sample from Enya’s track Boadicea.
The fifth disc ends with a number of tracks to honour the memory of The Notorious B.I.G. Including the track Ms. Wallace (1999), which is a message from Biggy’s mom, and I’ll Be Missing You (1997) in which Puff Daddy bares his soul in the sad circumstances of losing a friend.
The Bad Boys 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition is a trip down memory lane for hip-hop and R’n B lovers, a rediscovery for those are only familiar with some of the music released by Bad Boy and an education for new listeners. It is a showcase of some of the finest work that Bad Boy Entertainment has produced in the last twenty years.