P. Diddy | Epic Records | Memento

Puff Daddy, or P. Diddy, and Ralph Lauren's Kid in a Movie Un-Deal

Puff Daddy is coming to the big screen. And he doesn't even know it.

But he owes it all to Ralph Lauren.

Let me explain. Andrew Lauren, the sometime actor son of the famous designer, has decided to become a movie producer. And his first film project is called G. Here's the description as released by casting directors this week:

"When rap mogul Summer G moves to the Hamptons to be near his ex-lover, the now-married Sky Hightower, the resulting romantic triangle leads to passion and murder."

Kinda sounds familiar, huh? In fact, the breakdown of the film's story goes on to say that this Summer character throws a big party at his house in the Hamptons and the police come. Another character apparently convinces the police that Summer is capable of violence. And so on and so forth.

Christopher Scott Cherot, who wrote the amusing Hav Plenty a couple of years ago, is listed as the co-writer with someone named Charles Drew. Shooting is expected to commence on May 22nd — the week before Memorial Day — in the Hamptons, where no doubt Sean "Puffy" Combs and his friends will cross paths with the film company.

What's interesting about this, in an ironic way, is that Combs will actually make his acting debut in the movie Made, directed by Jon Favreau and starring Favreau and Vince Vaughn, in just a few weeks. Early screening audiences have been impressed with Combs's work in the role of an upscale gangsta. Maybe he can send a clip and get a part in G. It's just a suggestion.

No comment from Andrew Lauren, despite many messages left at the G production office. His previous acting credits, by the way, include two unreleased films in which young Lauren played a rich kid in the Hamptons.

Epic Proportions Over-Estimated

I almost fell over laughing this week when I read in a local paper that Epic Records was having a renaissance.

The Sony label indeed has albums on the new Billboard chart at 6, 25, 46, and 56. Get out the confetti!

Jennifer Lopez's J-Lo, mired at 25, has been an extreme sales disappointment, so that can't be the point of the article. Sony/Epic paid Lopez a fortune, then threw more in for promotion. It's not likely they'll see any of it again in this lifetime. The fans voted J-no on that record.

The piece also credited Epic with the Now compilation album at number one. Now is like an old K-Tel Record, with recent hits from lots of artists on many labels. Zomba, Universal, and EMI are also listed as its label with Sony. Anyway, it doesn't count as a real record and is an embarrassing indicator that bubblegum and rap-crap singles have nearly destroyed the market for real albums. Now has just added to teen cultural illiteracy. (It should be called Music for Kids With ADHD.)

Epic's bigger problem is Michael Jackson, flailing away trying to make an album he's owed them for years, after whittling away a $60 million advance Epic gave him and which can never be paid back. So much for spin, huh folks?

It's not like the recent good old days of Celine Dion saving the label. Or the very good old days when Sly & the Family Stone, The Hollies, and other cool groups churned out hits for Epic.

And how does Epic pay for all this renaissance? Sources tell me that at the end of every year, Sony execs dip into a reserve fund and bail Epic out before the Japanese management in Tokyo wises up. It's a great apocryphal story, in any case, the kind that makes the record business home to myth-making and -breaking.

Memento Is Still Out There

Christopher Nolan's superior mystery thriller is playing in about 150 theaters nationwide. If it's near you this weekend, don't miss it! ... On the extreme other end of the spectrum, run, don't walk away from, Tom Green's Freddy Got Fingered. Who can stand Green's constant wedding announcements and pregnancy declarations with Drew Barrymore? None of them are true, but all of it, he thinks, is some kind of ironic comment on publicity. It's enough already.

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