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No Way Out (Puff Daddy album)

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No Way Out
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 22, 1997
Puff Daddy & The Family chronology
No Way Out
Singles from No Way Out
  1. "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down"
    Released: January 7, 1997
  2. "I'll Be Missing You"
    Released: May 27, 1997
  3. "It's All About the Benjamins"
    Released: August 12, 1997
  4. "Been Around the World"
    Released: November 14, 1997
  5. "Victory"
    Released: March 17, 1998

No Way Out is the debut studio album by American rapper Puff Daddy & The Family. It was released on July 22, 1997, by Arista Records and Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Entertainment.[1] The album's crediting of the Family references the guest appearances from his label-mates at Bad Boy Records.

Puff Daddy worked extensively with the Notorious B.I.G. and the Hitmen when creating the album, which saw a change in direction following the former's shooting and death a few months prior to release. This greatly affected Puff Daddy, which he expands upon on the album with a combination of aggressive and introspective lyrics, as well as with raw production to convey his varying emotional state before and after his friend’s death. Additional production was provided by Jaz-O, while the album contains features from the Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, Mase, Lil' Kim, Carl Thomas, Jay-Z, Black Rob, the LOX, Ginuwine, Twista, Foxy Brown, Faith Evans, and 112.

No Way Out saw significant commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200, selling over 561,000 copies in its first week of sales. The album's singles also saw commercial success, namely with "I'll Be Missing You", which became a worldwide hit, and the first rap song to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" also peaked at number one, while "It's All About the Benjamins" and "Been Around the World" reached number two. The album also saw widespread critical success, with Puff Daddy being nominated for five awards at the 40th Grammy Awards, winning the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.[2] It remains Puff Daddy's best selling album, with over 7 million copies shipped in the United States, and is considered a classic hip hop album.[3]


Speaking about the album's title, Puff Daddy said that because of the Notorious B.I.G.'s death on March 9, 1997, he had felt that there was 'no way out of things the way we were'. The album's lyrical content is filled with some of the emotions that he felt while mourning the loss of his close friend. In the song, titled "Is This the End?", he raps about experiencing the drive-by shooting that happened in Los Angeles, California, which took the Notorious B.I.G.'s life. The album was originally called Puff Daddy & the Goodfellas, then slated to be titled Hell Up in Harlem, but following the death of the Notorious B.I.G., he decided to switch the album's title to No Way Out. As discussed in "Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of The Notorious B.I.G." by Cheo Hodari Coker, the weight of the East Coast/West Coast rivalry and the accompanying threats had taken its toll on Combs and those around him. It was decided that they needed to get away and become focused on making hits. So, Combs brought producers Steven "Stevie J." Jordan, Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, Nashiem Myrick and Ron Lawrence as well as engineers Axel Niehaus and Tony Maserati down to the Caribbean Sound Basin studio in Maraval, Trinidad, along with everything that they needed to craft hits. In the book, Puffy is quoted as saying, "For the next two years, I wanna have radio on lock. Call the girlfriend, wifey, or whatever, and let 'em know that you're not gonna be around for a few weeks. We're gonna get away from all this drama, put our heads together, and when we come back, we’re coming back with hits." The material would later be used on No Way Out, Life After Death and other Bad Boy albums from 1997 to 1999.


In the United States, the album topped on the Billboard charts, with 561,000 copies sold in the first week. The album topped music charts worldwide for 24 non-consecutive weeks. In 1998, No Way Out would win the Grammy Award for the Best Rap Album. On September 7, 2000, the album was certified seven-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In 1997, among the ten songs that reached at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 list, four of them belonged to Bad Boy Records. The album spawned two Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles – "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" and "I'll Be Missing You" – and the "number 2" singles "Been Around the World" and "It's All About the Benjamins". The longest reign of the label's four hits was this single "I'll Be Missing You", which topped the charts for 11 weeks. The melody for "I'll Be Missing You" is sampled from the Police's 1983 hit "Every Breath You Take". This successful album led to Puff Daddy to be named as one of Forbes' 40th highest-paid entertainers, along with southern hip hop rapper Master P and Oprah Winfrey.

The music video for "Been Around the World" features cameo appearances by Jennifer Lopez, playing Puff Daddy's love interest in a fictional storyline. Its positive reception led to widespread rumors of a personal relationship between the two in the media. This was later confirmed when Puff Daddy and Lopez dated for a period of time in the late 1990s. Furthermore, the music video for "Victory" was one of the most expensive videos ever made.[4] The song titled "No Way Out" performed by Puff Daddy, appeared on the soundtrack for the film Money Talks (1997), but is not included on this album.

Critical and commercial performance[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Entertainment WeeklyC+[6]
Village Voice(2-star Honorable Mention)(2-star Honorable Mention)[10]

Upon release, No Way Out was quickly met with commercial success. In Combs' home country of the United States, it debuted atop the Billboard 200, selling 561,000 copies in its first week. It also produced five commercially successful singles, the most successful of which being "I'll Be Missing You", a tribute song for the Notorious B.I.G., which became the first hip hop song to debut atop the Billboard Hot 100, and remained at the position for 11 consecutive weeks while topping several other charts worldwide. The album's first single, released prior to B.I.G.'s death, "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down", also peaked atop the chart, for seven consecutive weeks.

Its fourth single, "Been Around the World", peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, while its fifth, "Victory" peaked within the top 20. On September 7, 2000, the album was certified septuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of 7,000,000 units in the United States:[11] As of 2024, it remains Combs' most commercially successful release.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks, with the exception of "I Got the Power", were produced by members of Bad Boy's in-house production team, the Hitmen. The tracklisting was slightly altered on the album's clean version, where it was shortened down to thirteen songs.[12]

No Way Out digital download[13] and streaming[14]
1."No Way Out (Intro)"Stevie J1:22
2."Victory" (featuring the Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes)4:56
3."Been Around the World" (featuring the Notorious B.I.G. and Mase)
  • Puff Daddy
  • D-Dot
  • Amen-Ra[a]
4."What You Gonna Do?"
  • Puff Daddy
  • Amen-Ra
  • Myrick
5."Don't Stop What You're Doing" (featuring Lil' Kim)
6."If I Should Die Tonight (Interlude)" (featuring Carl Thomas)
  • Puff Daddy
  • J-Dub[b]
7."Do You Know?"
  • Puff Daddy
  • D-Dot[c]
8."Young G's" (featuring Jay-Z and the Notorious B.I.G.)
Rashad Smith5:25
9."I Love You, Baby" (featuring Black Rob)
Jesse "Corparal" Wilson
10."It's All About the Benjamins" (featuring the LOX, the Notorious B.I.G., and Lil' Kim)
  • Puff Daddy
  • D-Dot
  • Combs
  • Myrick
  • Puff Daddy
  • Myrick[a]
12."Is This the End?" (featuring Carl Thomas, Ginuwine, and Twista)
  • Puff Daddy
  • Stevie J[b]
13."I Got the Power" (featuring the LOX)
14."Friend" (featuring Foxy Brown)
  • Puff Daddy
  • Stevie J
  • Combs
  • Jason Graham
  • Puff Daddy
  • Yogi
16."I'll Be Missing You" (featuring Faith Evans and 112)
  • Puff Daddy
  • Stevie J
17."Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" (featuring Mase)
  • Combs
  • Betha
  • Carlos Broady
  • Myrick
  • Puff Daddy
  • July 6
  • Myrick
18."Been Around the World (Radio Mix)" (featuring the Notorious B.I.G. and Mase)
  • Puff Daddy
  • D-Dot
  • Amen-Ra[a]
Total length:77:52


  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies an additional music contribution

Sample credits


Credits for No Way Out adapted from AllMusic.[15]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[46] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[47] Gold 25,000*
Belgium (BEA)[48] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[49] 6× Platinum 600,000^
France (SNEP)[50] Gold 100,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[51] Platinum 200,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[52] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[53] Gold 7,500^
Sweden (GLF)[54] Gold 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[55] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[56] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[57] 7× Platinum 7,000,000[3]
Europe (IFPI)[58] Platinum 1,000,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cheo Hodari Coker (July 22, 1997). "The Spotlight Turns on Puffy Combs : Dancing Close to the Flames". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  2. ^ Strauss, Neil (January 7, 1998). "Grammy Nominations Yield Surprises, Including Newcomer's Success". The New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Preezy Brown (July 1, 2017). "Bad Boy For Life: 20 Facts About Puff Daddy & The Family's 'No Way Out'". Vibe. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  4. ^ "SoYouWanna know the ten most expensive music videos? – Videos 4 – 2". Soyouwanna.com. Archived from the original on February 10, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  5. ^ Stanley, Leo. "No Way Out". AllMusic. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  6. ^ Considine, J.D. (August 8, 1997). "No Way Out". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  7. ^ Pearce, Sheldon (March 9, 2017). "Puff Daddy & the Family: No Way Out Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  8. ^ Padania, Jesal (September 25, 2007). "Puff Daddy & The Family - No Way Out". RapReviews. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  9. ^ Gonzales, Michael A. (October 1997). "Puff Daddy: No Way Out (Bad Boy Records)". Vibe Magazine. Vol. 5, no. 8. pp. 159–160.[dead link]
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (September 23, 1997). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Vol. 42, no. 38. p. 78. Retrieved May 9, 2024.
  11. ^ "Diddy searchable database". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  12. ^ "No Way Out (Remastered Edition) by Diddy". Spotify. July 1, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  13. ^ "No Way Out by Puff Daddy & The Family". Apple Music. July 1, 1997. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  14. ^ "No Way Out by Diddy". Spotify. July 1, 1997. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  15. ^ "No Way Out > Puff Daddy & The Family > Credits". AllMusic. Macrovision. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  16. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Puff Daddy & The Family – No Way Out". Hung Medien.
  17. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Puff Daddy & The Family – No Way Out" (in German). Hung Medien.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Puff Daddy & The Family – No Way Out" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – Puff Daddy & The Family – No Way Out" (in French). Hung Medien.
  20. ^ "Puff Daddy Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Puff Daddy & The Family – No Way Out" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  22. ^ "Puff Daddy & The Family: No Way Out" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  23. ^ "Lescharts.com – Puff Daddy & The Family – No Way Out". Hung Medien.
  24. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Puff Daddy & The Family – No Way Out" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts.
  25. ^ "Charts.nz – Puff Daddy & The Family – No Way Out". Hung Medien.
  26. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Puff Daddy & The Family – No Way Out". Hung Medien.
  27. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 28, 2023.
  28. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Puff Daddy & The Family – No Way Out". Hung Medien.
  29. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Puff Daddy & The Family – No Way Out". Hung Medien.
  30. ^ "Puff Daddy & The Family | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  31. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  32. ^ "Puff Daddy Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  33. ^ "Puff Daddy Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard.
  34. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Albums for 1997". ARIA. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  35. ^ "Jahreshitparade Alben 1997". Austriancharts.at (in German). Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  36. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1997". Ultratop (in Dutch). Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  37. ^ "Rapports Annuels 1997". Ultratop (in French). Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  38. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1997". DutchCharts.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  39. ^ "Eurochart Top 100 Albums 1997" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  40. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  41. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1997". The Official NZ Music Charts. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  42. ^ "Year list Album (incl. Collections), 1997". Sverigetopplistan (in Swedish). Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  43. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1997: Alben". Hitparade.ch (in German). Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  44. ^ "The Year in Music 1997: Top Billboard 200 Albums". Billboard. December 27, 1997. p. YE-26. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  45. ^ "1997 The Year in Music". Billboard. Vol. 109, no. 52. December 27, 1997. p. YE-39. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  46. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  47. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Puff Daddy – No Way Out" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  48. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 1997". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  49. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Puff Daddy – No Way Out". Music Canada. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  50. ^ "French album certifications – Puff Daddy – No Way Out" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  51. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Puff Daddy – No Way Out" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved November 19, 2019. Select 1998年1月 on the drop-down menu
  52. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Puff Daddy – No Way Out" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved November 19, 2019. Enter No Way Out in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 1997 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle jaargangen".
  53. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Puff Daddy – No Way Out". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  54. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 17, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  55. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards ('No Way Out')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  56. ^ "British album certifications – Puff Daddy – No Way Out". British Phonographic Industry.
  57. ^ "American album certifications – Diddy – No Way Out". Recording Industry Association of America.
  58. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1998". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 19, 2019.

External links[edit]