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If we’re keeping it a buck, back when rap mogul Sean Combs, AKA Diddy, brought us MTV’s Making the Band, a lot of us knew he was creating reality TV stars, not successful recording artists. Now, this isn’t because the members of Day26, Danity Kane and Da Band didn’t have the talent to make it in today’s Hip-Hop industry, it was just painfully obvious that we were watching an artist training process that was geared more towards the entertainment of reality show viewers than it was to actual tools for creating lucrative and lasting artist careers.
I mean, seriously—how are you going to make a rap group walk miles to bring you cheesecake in front of the whole world and still expect them to be taken seriously as hardcore rappers? Da Band could never have beefed with anyone, because the diss songs write themselves.
But the issues of care, cultivation and respect went beyond those antics, according to some former members of groups featured on the series. In fact, just after Day26’s Willie Taylor publicly lamented comments his experience on the show saying, “The platform and contracts were all set up for the failure of hungry talents,” Da Band’s Freddy P has taken to Instagram to air out his own grievances.
“God knows if I was @diddy I would’ve done WAY MORE FOR THESE KIDS,” he wrote. “Any real ninja would’ve.. You start out JUST CHASING A DREAM. Then it QUICKLY GET SNATCHED AWAY.. Made me NEVER WANT TO RAP. God gone have the last laugh. My talent was given to me to touch hearts and homes and it was silenced. You silenced Gods plan. Everyone who ever took part will depart horribly from.”
In a follow-up video, Freddy P revealed in a startling and brave admission that his experience on Making the Band even caused him to think about ending his life.
“People don’t understand what I’ve been through,” he said. “This year alone I’ve contemplated suicide two or three times. I done pictured my brother walking in, finding me dead. I cry thinking about leaving my son, because it just gets tired of life. It’s like, no matter what you try to do, you just gotta keep battling. N*ggas got they foot on your neck, n*ggas wanna see you fall.” He continued, saying, “It’s these n*ggas like Puffy, he my main motherf*ckin’ reason why I really hate f*ckin’ life, dog. People don’t even understand.”
Hopefully, Freddy continues to survive and heal. And hopefully, his testimony will help future artists avoid falling into the same kind of trap.