If there’s one thing that Diddy’s got the magic touch in, it’s music. Though he’s a monster in liquor and a beast in television, music was always his first hustle and his lasting legacy. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that Rick Ross has tapped him as Executive Producer on his upcoming sixth solo album, Mastermind. With the release date of Mastermind, March 4, rapidly approaching, XXL made a list of some of the best songs and albums of Diddy’s career as a producer and executive producer to see why Rozay was wise to recruit the Ciroc CEO and Bad Boy Worldwide mogul. Here are seven dope albums and singles that prove Diddy’s the right man for just about any project. It's all about the Benjamins. Andrew Asare

ARTIST: The Notorious B.I.G
LABEL: Bad Boy Records
DATE: September 13, 1994
WHY IT WAS DOPE:  The first release from Diddy’s Bad Boy Records label, The Notorious B.I.G’s Ready To Die still one of the dopest albums of all time. Giving an ominous account of flinching life experiences (“Everyday Struggle”), coupled with emotional depths (“Suicidal Thoughts”) and thematic delivery (“Warning”), Biggie’s debut album still stands as one of hip-hop’s greatest bodies of work.
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: As the executive producer behind his first LP under Bad Boy, Diddy impacted Big’s immaculate debut by aiding the Notorious One in telling his story—pegging out soulful sounds as samples, helping Big to translate his experiences in lyrical form on wax as the person who footed his dream.

ARTIST: Craig Mack
ALBUM TITLE: Project: Funk Da World
LABEL: Bad Boy Records
DATE: September 20, 1994
WHY IT WAS DOPE: Here comes the brand new flava in ya ear! While B.I.G. offered a much more gritty, hard-edged appeal on Ready To Die, Craig Mack’s Project: Funk Da World, the second release from Bad Boy Records (Ready To Die debuted a week earlier), gave much more of a dance appeal with a bit of street-savvy. Garnering three hit singles from Funk Da World including "Flava in Ya Ear," "Get Down," and "Funk Wit Da Style,” Mack’s smooth delivery was a product of 1990s rap reminiscent of pre-gangsta rap era days.
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: As the guy behind Project: Funk Da World, Combs' impact on Mack’s project was still heavy from his Uptown days as the sound geared towards a New Jack style of rhythm alongside blaring beats.

ALBUM TITLE: Harlem World
LABEL: Bad Boy Records
DATE: October 28, 1997
WHY IT WAS DOPE: Before Drake, Pusha T, or anyone other MC that used a certain lyrical swag, it was the irresistible and aural appeal of Mason Betha that won over audiences. With Diddy’s help, Ma$e’s debut, Harlem World, spawned some of the biggest hits of the late 1990s, including “Feel So Good” and “24 Hours To Live,” which was a marquee of the party lifestyle Bad Boy still attained post-Biggie.
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: From the sampling to the braggadocio delivery of lyrics, Diddy’s impact on Mason Betha’s debut was well peppered into each song and video from Harlem World, from over-the-top videos to constant reminders of his opulent lifestyle.

ALBUM TITLE: Child Of The Ghetto 
LABEL: Bad Boy Records
DATE: November 20, 2001
WHY IT WAS DOPE: G-Dep’s debut Child Of The Ghetto had everything: radio-friendly club bangers (“Special Delivery,” “Let’s Get It”), guest appearances from some of hip-hop’s finest (Rakim, Kool G Rap), and Diddy’s signature sampled sounds. Unfortunately, the reaction wasn’t as grandiose as the debut, which led to the demise of G-Dep’s career years later.
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: Though record sales didn’t translate as largely as the depth of production in Child Of The Ghetto, G-Dep’s debut still remains a revered rap album from Diddy’s catalogue of great works as hits such as “Special Delivery” and “Let’s Get It” help propelled dances crazes like the Harlem Shake.

ARTIST: Boyz N Da Hood
LABEL: Bad Boy Records
DATE: June 21, 2005
WHY IT WAS SO DOPE: A hefty, definable, debut body of work from southern rap quartet Boyz N Da Hood's self-titled album introduced audiences to the inner trap game in the South with anthemic hit “Dem Boyz.”
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: Aiding Boyz N Da Hood to depict the grime and glamour of street life through trap-rap, Diddy helped steer the way for Jeezy's career—not that Da Snowman would need much more help after that.

ARTIST: Diddy Dirty Money
ALBUM TITLE: Last Train To Paris
LABEL: Bad Boy Records
DATE: December 14, 2010
WHY IT WAS DOPE: Offering a hefty, futuristic sound, bedecked for the clubs, Diddy Dirty Money’s Last Train To Paris proved to be the precursor to a new kind of hip-hop sound. The group under the tutelage of Diddy himself—along with Dawn Richard and Kalenna Harperspewed a hybrid of electro/dance, hip-hop infused records such as “Hello Good Morning,” “Ass On The Floor,” and the emo-laced “Coming Home.”
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: As both the front-man and visionary behind Dirty Money, Diddy's influence, curating a sound of electronic, pop, soul, and hip-hop, proved to be a major success as the album debut in the Top 10, selling way past its projected copies.

ARTIST: French Montana
ALBUM TITLE: Excuse My French
LABEL: Bad Boy Records
DATE: May 21, 2013
WHY IT WAS DOPE: Haaahn! From its catchy mantras to multiple guest appearances, French Montana’s debut album Excuse My French was successful because of its fly, arm-moving records like “Pop That,” “Freaks,” and “Ain’t Worried About Nothin,” much like Diddy’s anthems from No Way Out.
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: On French’s debut, Diddy’s influence is detected straight from one of the breakout singles, “Pop That,” which uses an Uncle Luke sample (like Diddy has used multiple times) and describes his lavish lifestyle: “Hundred out the lot / I be leaning that's a rock / Hundred large bring a mop / Cars tinted like Barack.”

ARTIST: The Notorious B.I.G.
LABEL: Bad Boy Records
DATE: February 20, 1995
WHY IT WAS DOPE: It took the charisma and God-given gift with words of someone “black and ugly as ever” to become Bad Boy’s most revered artist—turning an Isley Brothers sample into a head-bobbing, anthemic classic. Following the nostalgic record “Juicy,” “Big Poppa” gave game to all those who needed it and celebrated those who had it.
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: Diddy’s eloquent presence was more than the dialogue on “Big Poppa”—he also helped B.I.G. create records that still had a smooth edge and appeal to them.

ARTIST: Method Man featuring Mary J. Blige
SINGLE TITLE: "I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need To Get By"
LABEL: Def Jam
DATE: May 2, 1995
WHY IT WAS DOPE: It was eerie, it was daunting (the video even scarier), but it worked. The combination of a hip-hop Method Man and Mary J. Blige—hip-hop music’s Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell–struck Grammy gold with their duet “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By.”
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: Credited as a producer, Combs' recycling of classic records proved not only to win gold record players, but made records like “I’ll Be There For You” into the only female/male hip-hop single to sell over a million copies in the 1990s.

ARTIST: The Notorious B.I.G.
SINGLE TITLE: "One More Chance"
LABEL: Bad Boy Records
DATE: May 9, 1995
WHY IT WAS DOPE: Whether it was DeBarge’s “Stay With Me” sample or the beautiful airy cadences of Faith Evans and Mary J. Blige, "One More Chance" was the pre-thot song for the lovers that couldn’t get enough of Big Poppa.
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: Besides helming B.I.G. to bless hip-hop with one of the best verses of all time, Diddy served as the executive producer for “One More Chance,” serving the platter for Mr. Wallace to tell about his playa-playa lifestyle with the ladies.

LABEL: Atlantic Records
DATE: October 29, 1996
WHY IT WAS DOPE: Lil Kim’s “No Time” was the ode for every chick that wasn’t afraid to use what they got to get even more. With Kim’s brash delivery, but still girl-next-door charm, the new mother-to-be was slick with the mouth back then, figuratively speaking (no pun intended).
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: Though B.I.G. was well on his way toward packaging the Queen Bee as the Black Madonna, Diddy helmed the production efforts for Kim’s first Top 10 hit.

ARTIST: Puff Daddy
SINGLE: "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" featuring Ma$e
LABEL: Bad Boy Records
DATE: January 7, 1997
WHY IT WAS DOPE: Enough for anyone to use as a personal theme song, Puffy and Ma$e made a record that stood tall during the reign of Bad Boy's glory days. And the song was again proof that Bad Boy and Puff had a convoy of hit singles coming before and after which proved, “you couldn’t take Puff’s pride, you couldn’t hold him down, because he just kept on moving.”
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: Diddy’s formula of a hit (a sample, confidence, and featured guest appearance) was all the influence that was needed to turn “Can’t Hold Me Down” into a smash.

ARTIST: The Notorious B.I.G
SINGLE TITLE: "Mo Money, Mo Problems" featuring Puff Daddy and Ma$e
LABEL: Bad Boy Records
DATE: July 1, 1997
WHY IT WAS DOPE:  It could have been Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” as the repeat hook or The Notorious B.I.G.'s intro towards the end, but alongside Puff and Ma$e, “Mo Money Mo Problems” was one of the most iconic records of the 1990s.
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: From the flashy jumpsuits to the detail-ridden over-priced music video set, Biggie despite the fact that he had passed by the time the song came out, still carried out his mentor's flair for the lavish.

SINGLE TITLE: "Can't Stop, Won't Stop"
LABEL:  Bad Boy Records
DATE: 1998
WHY IT WAS DOPE: Before there was "Boom Bap," the LOX were a boastful bunch with their hit “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.” Using samples from Spoonie G’s “Spoonin’ Rap” and even Shaquille O’Neal’s “You Can’t Stop The Rain,” LOX gave a good glimpse into the life of what is it to be apart of the Bad Boy fam. 
DIDDY’S INFLUENCE: If there’s any phrase that’s used by struggle rappers or anyone that’s at the bottom of the barrel in anything, words of inspiration can be credited to Diddy’s production and LOX’s title song “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,” words Diddy still uses to this day.