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P. Diddy Schools Adrien Brody

Rapper gives Oscar winner hip-hop tips

April 15, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody wants to start a second career -- as a music producer. The star of the Holocaust drama The Pianist has grabbed the attention of hip-hop heavies such as P. Diddy, Dr. Dre and Roc-A-Fella Records founder Damon Dash with a CD of his beats.

"I told Adrien he produces like RZA, which is a big compliment," says Diddy. "My advice was to keep doing what he was doing."

Brody was a skilled break dancer in his youth and learned to recite raps verbatim growing up in Queens, New York -- a talent he retains today. But the actor makes it clear that he's into more than just rap beats. "I do make hip-hop music," Brody says. "But I am not solely a hip-hop musician."

But at a P. Diddy party in Long Island's Hamptons, Brody floored a roomful of rap luminaries with his hip-hop know-how. "I was surprised how knowledgeable Adrien was about the scene and culture," says Dash. "He was really excited about making beats. It almost seemed like he'd rather be doing that."

Brody has started to get some results, including a session with Lenny Kravitz. "I felt that Lenny was impressed by what I brought to the table," says the actor. But according to Diddy, there's still much for Brody to learn. "Adrien calls himself A. Ranger," says Diddy. "I could get a better name for him. I ain't gonna let my man be out there like that."

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