Diddy-Dirty Money’s long-awaited concept album, Last Train to Paris, will finally arrive in stores December 14, and the trio are about make their “Saturday Night Live” debut. But there’s one thing in particular that makes this time especially thrilling…… for the Dirty Money ladies, Dawn Richard and Kalenna: meeting Hollywood heavyweight Robert De Niro.
“What’s crazy is that Kalenna and I are both huge Robert De Niro fans and he’s hosting, and so it’s really exciting, because it’s a time when the album is coming out December 14,” Richard told MTV News on Friday (December 3), the day before the crew is slated to rock the “SNL” stage. “We only got a week and a half left [before the album's release]. It’s a really good time for us. Our album … just really hit the Internet airwaves, and it’s crazy because everyone’s giving us positive feedback.”
Even though one of their screen idols was milling about Studio H8, the ladies resisted the urge to pounce on the Hollywood legend — for now.
“We did get to speak in the hallway. We didn’t get any pictures. We didn’t want to be groupies or anything. We were inside groupies like, ‘Oh my God, that’s Robert De Niro!’ But we was just trying to get it all contained and stay pretty professional. We were moving. We were trying on clothes that day. We had rehearsal, so we wanted to get the lighting right, the sound,” Kalenna explained, adding with a laugh, “But we’ll see him tomorrow. We’re gonna jump on his back when we see him.”
Aside from tackling Oscar-winning actors, the songstresses are readying for the release of the long-delayed Paris project. But judging by the album’s star-crammed lineup and creative relationship with a bevy of game-changing celebs, they’re probably not the type of broads you’d slap with the “groupie” label.
“It’s kind of a payoff for us,” Richard said of the album’s release. “I know when Kalenna and I speak, we sometimes feel giddy because people like Grace Jones, Trey Songz, Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, Usher — I mean pioneers of the game said, ‘You know what? We want to be on your album,’ ” the ex-Danity Kane star said, adding that Lil Wayne and Drake also contributed to the record.
The ladies maintain that more than just being a collabo-fest, Paris is a labor of love that has been years in the making, pegging the origin of the project years before the trio’s team-up was announced.
“December 14 is gonna be a really big day for us because it’s not one year of saying, ‘Oh, we’re gonna just decide to put an album together.’ It’s three years of making sure that people digested what we wanted to give them and they really appreciated the sound that was given,” Richard said.
After such a long incubation period, the album deserved a stunningly fabulous introduction to the fans. The crew cooked up an exceedingly fierce “prelude” to the record by releasing a collection of sleek Paris snippets this week hosted by fashion’s go-to publication, Vogue, and features drops from sartorial superstars like Isaac Mizrahi and longtime Vogue contributor André Leon Talley.
“I think the album represents couture, it represents avant garde, it represents that elegance that is Vogue. We all thought it right that, why not have the best, like Zac Posen, Marc Jacobs, [Vogue Editor in Chief] Anna Wintour — translate what this sound really is?” Richard said. “How many people can say they had Anna Wintour on a record? Not even an album, just a mixtape? It’s audacious, disrespectful, and I feel like it’s a little bit raw, and that’s what Dirty Money is.”
Photo: Sean “Diddy” Combs onstage with Dawn Richard and Kalenna Harper
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