It's been a long and strenuous ride for Sean Combs, A.K.A Puff Daddy, A.K.A P.Diddy. After being acquitted on attempted murder and bribery charges, Puffy proclaimed he was a new man. He changed his name to P.Diddy for short, and now looked to regain his throne in the rap game. However, the once dominant Bad Boy family has changed a lot since its glory days with Biggie. Gone are The Lox, Biggie, everybody's favorite reverend Mase, and the recently incarcerated Shyne. The future of the family now rests on the shoulders on a bunch of young, unknown emcees. Black Rob is the only remaining big name in the Bad Boy family. He is backed by an arsenal of youngsters such as, G-Dep, former Harlem World member Loon, the Eminem inspired Kain, and Mark Curry amongst others. While most of the emcees on "The Saga Continues" are young and unknown, they definitely bring a sense of hunger and intensity to the album.
"The Saga Continues" was originally intended to be a Bad Boy family compilation. However, Puffy pulled a Jay-z move, and decided to make the album his third studio release. The album features the same Puffy formula we have grown accustomed to over the years. The albums first two singles are the mega hits "Let's Get It" and "Bad Boy For Life". Both feature excellent production from Hitman member Yogi, and newcomer Megahertz. Even though Puffy doesn't write his own rhymes, as he proclaims on "Bad Boy For Life", "Don't worry if I write rhymes, I write checks", he still steals the show on both tracks. "That's Crazy" is the "Whoa" inspired Black Rob track that offers more of the same from the Harlem Emcee. Along with G-Dep and P.Diddy, the track is destined for big success. The street banger "Blast Off" features G-Dep, Mark Curry, and Loon. The tracks neck breaking beat by Mike Harper combined with each Emcees energy filled verse, make it one of the albums highlights. G-Dep especially blazes the track with his verse; "I keep smoking' till the bullshit filter. Like cigarettes, Dep came through, killed ya".
"Lonely" is the West Coast inspired track that features Puffy, Kokane, Mark Curry, and Kain. Kokane's P-Funk style and voice blaze the track, but Puffy and his crew fail to capitalize on it. Kain's less than stellar verse stands out, but for all the wrong reasons. The Neptune's produced "Diddy" is based on BDP's "Jimmy", but fails to offer the same experience as the original. The Neptune's horrendous beat only makes the track more unbearable than Puffy's lyrics. It seems that most of the tracks on "The Saga Continues" are either hit or miss. Tracks such as the horribly produced "Back For Good Now", "If You Want This Money" and "So Complete", are definitely misses and offer nothing more than the listener hitting the skip button. But the album does recover and offers a couple more stellar tracks, including the "Phone Tap" sampled "Can't Believe", minus Shyne's outstanding, emotional performance. Which was unsurprisingly taken off the final version. " I Need A Girl" is the love inspired song, were we witness Puffy get personal, addressing his situation with his former girl Jennifer Lopez. "I had a girl that would of died for me. Didn't appreciate her so I made her cry for me, everyday she had tears in her eyes for me. I caught a case shorty took the whole ride for me".
What really stands out on "The Saga Continues" is the production. Puffy's hitmen put in a stellar job, and put out some of the best production seen on a Bad Boy album in the last couple of years. Lyrically however, is where most of the emcees on the album falter. Besides Black Rob, no one emcee really stands out, they all offer nothing more than the same generic rap floating around the industry today. While the saga may continue for now, only time will tell if Puffy can take these young rappers to the next level. After basically losing his entire roster, how much longer can Puffy find superstar emcees that he so longs to find? Are the Hoodfellaz, Kaine, Mark Curry and G-Dep the future of Bad Boy? Or will Puffy have to look else where to truly find the superstar Emcee he needs to help bring Bad Boy back to the top? Nevertheless, "The Saga Continues" is an enjoyable album, but in the end it fails to offer a consistent performance.