Diddy makes his return to the music industry with free album

The rap mogul celebrated his 46th birthday with a gift to others in the form of an unexpected free album

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One of the biggest forces in hip-hop, Diddy has long since made his mark in the world of business. In a surprise return to music, he asks: what if street hustlers similarly redirected their talents?

The New York rap mogul - also known by his stage name Puff Daddy and his real name Sean Combs - celebrated his 46th birthday Wednesday with a gift to others in the form of an unexpected free album.

Entitled “MMM,” the mixtape brings together Diddy and younger talent in the hip-hop world including French Montana, Future and Wiz Khalifa.

“MMM” takes as its inspiration “Money Making Mitch,” a character from the 2002 movie “Paid in Full” that depicted drug-dealing in New York before the crack craze of the 1980s.

Diddy, who was born in a public housing project and is now estimated to be the richest person in hip-hop, dedicated the album to all people aspiring to make ends meet who “know that one day they are going to be the greatest because they have something special.”

Diddy has rarely performed in recent years and has not released an album of his own since “Last Train to Paris” in 2010.

He worked on a 2011 album with Israeli DJ Guy Gerber, and the electronica influence can be heard subtly throughout “MMM,” with Diddy equally comfortable with techno-inspired beats as he is with classic hip-hop.