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DIDDY’S NIGHT: Yes, the Cîroc was flowing and yes, it was a Philippe Chow-catered affair, but the artist formally known as Sean Combs — and currently as Diddy, or Puff to friends — wasn’t in typical party mode Wednesday night. In fact, he seemed pretty anxious. “I always get nervous playing my new music for people,” Combs said, just moments before giving the few-dozen guests gathered in his recording-studio lounge a listen to his unfinished album, “Last Train to Paris” (it’s scheduled to be released in November). In a short, and very low-key speech, the musician-slash-mogul reminded guests (including music video director Hype Williams and Dawn Richard, formerly of the group Danity Kane) that what they were about to hear would be like “watching the bootleg version of ‘X-Men,’ you know, still with the strings.”
The music, though — a mix of thumping house beats, funk and Prince-esque vocals — was anything but unpolished. It’s a gutsy move for an artist heretofore known as a rapper and hip-hop producer, which might be why Combs played it safe, sartorially speaking, in a bucket hat, black-and-white striped polo and black jeans, all from his own Sean John line. “I put things in boxes in my head, so tonight I’m not thinking about the clothes,” he said. “Tonight it’s about making sure that everyone likes the music and has a drink in their hand.”
One of the more popular guests was certainly enjoying herself: R&B singer Cassie, Combs’ rumored girlfriend, who made tabloid headlines last month when she shaved the right side of her head and posted the photos on Twitter. The 22-year-old Connecticut native was wearing an Alexander Wang tank, Kiki de Montparnasse bra, J Brand jeans, Loree Rodkin rings and metallic Dsquared heels. Currently at work on her second album, the singer said she’s been loving her new punkish cut, despite its high maintenance. “I get it touched up by a barber every three days,” she said with a smile.