No Way Out (album)

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No Way Out
Studio album by Puff Daddy & the Family
Released July 1, 1997
Recorded 1996–May 1997
Genre Hip hop, East Coast hip hop
Length 77:52
Label Bad Boy
Producer Sean "Puffy" Combs (exec.), Christopher Wallace (exec.), Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie (exec.), The Hitmen (including Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, Steven "Stevie J" Jordan, Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence, Nashiem Myrick, Carlos "6 July" Broady, Jeffery "J-Dub" Walker, & Yogi), Black Jeruz, Big Jaz
Puff Daddy & the Family chronology
No Way Out
Singles from No Way Out
  1. "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down"
    Released: February 11, 1997
  2. "I'll Be Missing You"
    Released: May 27, 1997
  3. "It's All About the Benjamins (Remix)"
    Released: August 12, 1997
  4. "Been Around the World"
    Released: December 2, 1997
  5. "Victory"
    Released: March 17, 1998

No Way Out is the debut studio album by American hip-hop artist Puff Daddy, released on July 1, 1997 through record label Bad Boy Records. The label also receives official crediting on the album as "The Family", and the album's guest appearances are largely made up of the label's artists. Production is largely handled by Puff Daddy (real name Sean Combs) and various members of production group The Hitmen. The album, executively produced by Combs himself, The Notorious B.I.G. and Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie of The Hitmen, is predominantly rap-based, although it features generally introspective content, largely focused on close friend The Notorious B.I.G.'s killing on March 9, 1997: however, the album features several more aggressive and positive songs recorded before the shooting. Originally titled Hell Up in Harlem,[1] the album underwent several changes after the death of his close friend emotionally affected Combs, who postponed the album in order to record several of the album's more emotional songs.

The album also received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics, who generally wrote positively about its emotional feel and its production, but were divided in their reviews towards Puff Daddy's rapping and songwriting.[citation needed] The album earned Combs five nominations at the 40th Grammy Awards in 1998, winning the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.[2]

Background and recording[edit]

When asked about the meaning behind the album’s name, Puff Daddy said it was because after The Notorious B.I.G.’s death on March 9 earlier in the year, he felt that there was “No Way Out” of the way things were. The album was filled with some of the emotions Puff Daddy felt in mourning his close friend the Notorious B.I.G. In the song “Is This the End?” Puff Daddy talks about experiencing the drive-by in Los Angeles that took his friend's life. The album was originally titled Hell Up in Harlem until The Notorious B.I.G.'s death. The album topped the album charts in the US with 561,000 units sold in its first week of release, debuting at #1. On September 23, 1997, No Way Out was number one on Jet Magazine’s top 20 albums. The album topped music charts as number one for 6 months after its initial release. The album won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. Alongside the album's Grammy, one of the album's hits, "It's All About the Benjamins" won the Viewer's Choice Award at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 1998. On September 7, 2000 the RIAA certified the album 7× multi-Platinum.

At the end of 1997, out of the 10 songs to reach number one of the Billboard Hot 100 list, four of these belonged to Bad Boy Records, Puff Daddy's record label which released his album. Out of the 52 weeks of the year, Bad Boy Records had a hit at number one for 22 weeks. The album had two Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" and "I'll Be Missing You", and two number two singles, "Been Around the World" and "It's All About the Benjamins". The longest reign of any of the label's four hits was the hit "I'll Be Missing You", which topped the charts for 11 weeks. The inspiration for the album's hit "I'll Be Missing You" comes from The Police's 1983 hit "Every Breath You Take". A year after the praise at both award ceremonies, Puff Daddy's success led him to be named as one of Forbes‍ '​ 40 highest-paid entertainers alongside southern rapper Master P, and Oprah Winfrey. In the music video of "Been Around the World" Puff Daddy romances actress Jennifer Lopez in a fictional storyline. The video began to spread rumors of the two celebrities being in a very serious relationship. Furthermore, the music video for "Victory" is one of the most expensive videos ever made.[3] A song titled "No Way Out" by Puff Daddy appears on the soundtrack to the film Money Talks, but is not included on the album.

Commercial Success[edit]

Upon its release, No Way Out was a significant commercial success, particularly in the United States where it reached number one on the Billboard 200 in its first week of release, selling 561,000 copies. It also produced five commercially successful singles, the most successful of these being the worldwide hit "I'll Be Missing You", a tribute song aimed at The Notorious B.I.G., which became the first rap song ever to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and remained at the top of the chart for eleven consecutive weeks, whilst topping several other charts worldwide. The other four singles, the Billboard hits "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down", "It's All About the Benjamins", "Been Around the World" and "Victory", were also commercially successful, and all except the latter peaked in the top two positions of the Billboard Hot 100.

On September 7, 2000, the album was certified septuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of 7,000,000+ copies:[4] to date, it remains Combs' most commercially successful album.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks except "Young G's" were produced by members of Bad Boy Records' in house production team, The Hitmen.

# Title Length Featured artists Producer(s) Samples and interpolations
1 "No Way Out" (Intro) 1:22 Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen
2 "Victory" 4:56 The Notorious B.I.G. & Busta Rhymes Sean "Puffy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen
3 "Been Around the World" 5:25 The Notorious B.I.G. & Mase Sean "Puffy" Combs, Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, & Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence for The Hitmen
4 "What You Gonna Do?" 4:55 Sean "Puffy" Combs, Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence, & Nashiem Myrick for The Hitmen
5 "Don't Stop What You're Doing" 3:58 Lil' Kim & Kelly Price Sean "Puffy" Combs & Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence for The Hitmen
6 "If I Should Die Tonight" (Interlude) 2:59 Carl Thomas Sean "Puffy" Combs & Jeffery "J-Dub" Walker for The Hitmen
7 "Do You Know?" 6:06 Kelly Price Sean "Puffy" Combs & Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie for The Hitmen
  • "Concentrate" by The Gaturs
  • "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going to)" by Diana Ross
8 "Young G's" 5:25 Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G. & Kelly Price Rashad Smith
9 "I Love You Baby" 4:03 Black Rob Sean "Puffy" Combs & Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence for The Hitmen
  • "Xtabay (Lure Of The Unknown Love)" by Yma Sumac
10 "It's All About the Benjamins (Remix)" 4:38 The LOX, Lil' Kim & The Notorious B.I.G. Sean "Puffy" Combs & Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie for The Hitmen
11 "Pain" 5:08 Carl Thomas Sean "Puffy" Combs & Nashiem Myrick for The Hitmen
12 "Is This the End?" 4:34 Carl Thomas, Ginuwine & Twista Sean "Puffy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen
13 "I Got the Power" 4:05 The LOX Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen & Big Jaz
14 "Friend" 6:37 Foxy Brown & Simone Hines Sean "Puffy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen
15 "Señorita" 4:07 Sean "Puffy" Combs & Yogi for The Hitmen
16 "I'll Be Missing You" 5:43 Faith Evans & 112 Sean "Puffy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen
17 "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" 3:51 Mase Sean "Puffy" Combs, Carlos "6 July" Broady, & Nashiem Myrick for The Hitmen


Credits for No Way Out adapted from Allmusic.[5]

Charts and certifications[edit]


Chart (1997) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[6] 17
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[7] 9
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[8] 24
Canadian Albums Chart[9] 1
Dutch Albums Chart[10] 6
French Albums Chart[11] 18
New Zealand Albums Chart[12] 12
UK Albums Chart[13] 8
US Billboard 200[9] 1
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[9] 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Puff Daddy (1997 Man of the Year)". 8 August 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Strauss, Neil (January 7, 1998). "Grammy Nominations Yield Surprises, Including Newcomer's Success". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. 2. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "SoYouWanna know the ten most expensive music videos? - Videos 4 - 2". Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  4. ^ "Diddy searchable database". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "No Way Out > Puff Daddy & The Family > Credits". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Puff Daddy & The Family - No Way Out". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Puff Daddy & The Family - No Way Out". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Puff Daddy & The Family - No Way Out". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c "Diddy - Charts & Awards - Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Puff Daddy & The Family - No Way Out". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Puff Daddy & The Family - No Way Out". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Puff Daddy & The Family - No Way Out". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Puff Daddy And The Family - No Way Out". Chart Stats. The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Men in Black: The Album by Various artists
The Art of War by Bone Thugs N Harmony
The Dance by Fleetwood Mac
Billboard 200 number-one album
August 16–23, 1997
August 30 - September 13, 1997
September 19–23, 1997
Succeeded by
The Art of War by Bone Thugs N Harmony
The Dance by Fleetwood Mac
Ghetto D by Master P