Diddy’s The Love Album: Off The Grid is his first in 17 years and a necessary invention for the visibility of R&B to the masses. It’s no coincidence that in 2023 the only household name in R&B is his artist Mary J. Blige who also makes an appearance on TLAOTG. Off The Grid has a sundry of players repping for the genre on the generous 23-song tracklisting. The title is explained on the opening track “Brought My Love” featuring The Dream and a sample of Herb Alpert’s “Rise” when the mogul tells his partner that his sister has his phone. The plan is to escape into their love free of distractions and that intention is heard throughout the album. There is a lot of flirting, slow-dancing and lovemaking with a list of producers almost as long as the artists. Busta Rhymes, Dawn Richard and Kalenna join Diddy on the lively “Deliver Me” which gives a Dirty Money flashback while sharing an intimate conversation between lovers. J. Dilla is one of the producers of the song that should be heard on a dancefloor or in a moving car.
Jozzy is the first artist signed to Diddy’s Love Records and her profile has gone up since co-writing Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” remix and Beyonce’s “Virgo’s Groove.” She is featured on the yearning that is “Homecoming” which is led by the bass from disco band Ecstasy, Passion and Pain’s “Born To Lose You.” Diddy has another past reflection with “Stay Part 1” recalling Jodeci’s classic with group member K-Ci and Compton rapper Kalan.FrFr. He shares the love he had with Kim Porter on the song named after her with vocals from Babyface and John Legend. Afrobeats superstar Burna Boy performs one of the interludes which keeps the romantic mood with operatic strings. It is hard not to feel like being encapsulated in a love bubble when Jazmine Sullivan sings “Need Somebody” with atmospheric drums and sacred organ chords in the background. The whole thing ends with H.E.R. surrendering to a sensuous connection on “Space” with a sparse arrangement of piano and percussion. Diddy’s reputation was built from his legendary contributions to hip-hop but TLAOTG’s dedication to rekindling the true spirit of R&B in the mainstream proves that he really has become Brother Love. Stream the album and check out the video for “Another One Of Me featuring The Weeknd, 21 Savage and French Montana.”