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Welcome back, Puff Daddy (sort of): Why everything is wrong with the rapper’s old moniker, his newest song and its ‘song trailer’

Who's your Diddy?

It's a valid question, almost always, but especially when it comes to Sean Combs, the rapper who changes nom de plumes as often as mere mortals renew their passports. In a short movie-style trailer for Combs's forthcoming new track Big Homie – we'll get to the maddening innovation of song trailers in a moment – the credits display the music tycoon as Puff Daddy, which was Combs's hip-hop handle until it was modified to the zippier P. Diddy in 2001.

In 2005, the "P" was dropped (and I think we all know how uncomfortable that can be) when the shortened alias Diddy was tried on for size.

For those keeping score at home, Combs has released two albums as Puff Daddy, one as P. Diddy, and two as Diddy.

There was no significance to the name change in 2001 – "I just want something fresh," the man said at the time – and now the new switcheroo is being underplayed as well. "For the record," Combs tweeted on March 24, "I did not change my name. I always have been and always will be PUFF DADDY! :)"

The reversion to an old moniker for Combs is not in keeping to the rap visionary's forward-thinking manner. Perhaps the thinking on his part was that he'd run the thread to its natural conclusion.

To that end, we might suggest the following related (if more extravagant) nicknames: Bo Don't Know Diddy. The Apprenticeship of Daddy Kravitz. Puff the Magic Rapper. Do Wah Diddy Diddy. And the Young and Notorious Drizzy-Jeezy P Weezy.

Then again, the lack of imagination Combs now shows by digging up an old stage name also extends to Big Homie, the single which features appearances by Rick Ross and French Montana. The tempo is screwed down, the tone is moody, the piano notes drip with dreary pretense and the lyrics from the It's All About the Benjamins rapper are all about bling and braggadocio – gold pinky ring, don't you know.

As for the 58-second clip, it is another in the relatively new marketing shenanigan called a "song trailer." It takes a special kind of self-importance to release a preview clip of a song, as if it will heighten our anticipation for such a momentous piece of art to follow. It's one thing to offer a sneak peak at a forthcoming film, as the the trailer can give moviegoers a better idea of whether or not the picture is worth seeing.

But a song trailer? Just release the whole song, okay Mozart?

Big Homie apparently is the lead single to Puff Daddy's upcoming LP. The album, which has no firm release date yet, is to be titled MMM, not to be confused with "Eminem."

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