Diddy Gives Insight on His Upcoming Album ‘The Love Album: Off the Grid’

Last night at MTV’s Video Music Awards in Newark, New Jersey, Diddy was given the Global Icon Award for his contributions to hip-hop culture and the music industry as a whole. Before claiming the trophy, though, he decided to give an epic performance that included numerous different songs from throughout his career.

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The first track he performed in the medley happened to be an unreleased song from his upcoming LP The Love Album: Off the Grid, set to drop in two days (September 15). And, to further promote the project, Billboard published a brand new cover story with the rapper-turned-mogul this morning (September 13), where he explained his decision to return to music after a hiatus that spanned over a decade.

First, he began by touching on one of his most recent full-length efforts Last Train to Paris, his 2010 collaborative album with Dirty Money. He said the reception of the album put him in a funk, and music wasn’t resonating with him like it used to.

“As time went on, people were able to connect with the album, and it’s become a cult classic,” Diddy said of Last Train to Paris. “But for a couple of years after that, I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t hearing the sounds. Then I started just dealing with life and had to go through a healing journey. When I came out of that, I was like, ‘What do I want to do that makes me happy?’ And it was, ‘I need to get back to music.’ So I immediately said, ‘I’m going to start a new label called Love Records, and I’m going to focus on R&B and bring back what it’s missing: that soul, that love, that unapologetic Blackness, that expression of vulnerability and on a different, higher frequency.'”

Confirming that The Love Album: Off the Grid will be an R&B-leaning project, Diddy continued by outlining his approach to the LP, which included making songs about his romances.

“This time I decided, ‘I’m going to just bare my soul and give people my truth.’ So this is my love story through all of my different relationships,” he told Billboard. “It’s about going away for 48 hours with a young lady, turning the phones off, locking in and connecting. We should all go off the grid with our significant other, whoever it is you love, and get to know each other better.”

[RELATED: Diddy Gives Publishing Rights Back to Label Signees—Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans and More]

Then, Diddy talked about building the soundscape for The Love Album: Off the Grid, which involved bringing on feature artists like The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Mary J. Blige, H.E.R., Summer Walker, Babyface, John Legend, and more.

“I had the musical vision for my story. I was like, ‘First, I’m going to make some R&B music for dancing to make her feel comfortable, then some slow love- and baby-making music for the strokers, then some baby-don’t-leave-me music,'” he said. “And I have some of the best — and my favorite — voices in R&B telling my love story. What I’m bringing back to the game is that Puffy sound, not following any trends or algorithms. I’m not knocking anything that’s out there, but a lot of things are just so toxic.”

Overall, this interview made it clear how much Diddy cares about the R&B genre, and how he wants to contribute to it in a special way with this new album, even though he’s traditionally been a rapper for most of his career.

“My first love is R&B… R&B helped me find myself and get back on my feet again,” he said. “So I can’t wait for people to hear how I’ve come full circle.”

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for MTV

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