Fifteen years ago, when MTV announced that Sean “P. Diddy” Combs would be taking over the Making The Band franchise after boyband O-Town was created, everyone was interested in seeing how things would go. Unfortunately, no one was prepared for the long-lasting impact and sometimes gut-wrenching scenes that would come along with fighting for a spot on the Bad Boy roster.
After countless auditions, lyrically murderous rap battles, and countless altercations under one roof, the hard work of six individuals finally paid off. Composed of five talented rappers and one singer, Babs, E. Ness, Chopper, Dylan Dilinjah, Freddy P., and Sara became the supergroup that Diddy dubbed “Da Band.”
Although the dysfunction of the group and continuous disagreements are cited as the reason for their breakup after their debut album, Too Hot for TV, nothing can ever eliminate what Diddy and the group brought to the screens of the early 2000s. From epically long walks to get cheesecake to full out brawls, MTV’s Making The Band 2 delivered some of the best moments in reality TV.
Known as the thumb-sucking, hotheaded rapper from Miami, Freddrick “Freddy P” Watson, quickly became a fan favorite on the show. Equipped with lyrical skills and quiet demeanor except when “tried,” there was no denying that Freddy should have blown up.
After attempting to secure a deal with Young Money, the talented rapper went on to drop music on his own and has continued a close relationship with fellow Da Band member, Chopper.
Well known for being the hardcore, talented female MC of the group who was ready to fight when she couldn’t get her hair done, Babs — even with her thin frame — carried a heavy name in the game. Despite being offered one of the three solo deals after the disbandment of the group, the world would never see the joint album that her and bandmate E. Ness were supposed to release.
Permanently parting ways when the deal fell through, Babs went on to continue making music and in 2010, founded Queen of the Ring — “the No. 1 female rap battle league in the world.” The YouTube channel has over 180,000 subscribers. Additionally, Babs is the mother of an adorable son named Aiden.
Perhaps one of the most troubled members of the group while on the show, Dylan Dilinjah barely got to add his much appreciated reggae flare to the group’s productions. Continuously rebellious and notorious for not pulling his weight when it came to the group, there were many times where the additional members —and not to mention, Diddy— became fed up with his antics.
After the group disbanded in 2004, Dilinjah went on to pursue a solo career which eventually landed a deal under the name Dylan Dili on Akon’s label. Recently releasing his album Pain 2 Power, Dili is still spitting “hot fiyah” everywhere he goes.
Holding the title as the only singer to be chosen for the group, Sara Stokes was both the beauty and vocally talented member of the six-member hip-hop group. Despite her powerful voice and appreciated addition to the group, she regularly faced conflict with with other members because of her seemingly invasive and controlling husband, Tony.
After the group dissolution in 2004, Stokes hit a rough patch in her marriage and was arrested twice for physical altercations with her husband with the last incident landing her a short stint in jail. Upon being released, she starred in Centric’s From the Bottom Up alongside four other women who were looking to rebuild their careers. Since the show wrapped, Sara has been working on her solo career and is promoting her new documentary Broken Things where she discusses her past experiences with abuse.
The youngest and most rambunctious member of the group Chopper “Young City” — born Kevin Barnes — had many altercations with with fellow members of the group, but his talent seemed to outshine those moments while on the show.
Once the group called it quits in 2004, Chopper was signed to Diddy’s Bad Boy South label and like most of the other artists who inked solo deals, never released an album. Though the New Orleans-bred rapper cited talks of being signed by Birdman to Cash Money, it is said that a falling out with rapper Lil Wayne put that potential situation to an end. Afterwards, he went on to star his own label — M.O.E. (Money Over Everything) — but found himself in trouble with the law once again. At one point, the talented rapper was going by the stage name Rodney Hill, but has since taken on the name “Chopper City” and is currently releasing new music under it.
aking on the responsibility of attempting to whip the group in shape, Philly native E. Ness had the ability to dominate the stage every time he spit a rhyme. Going on to be signed to Diddy after the group parted ways, Ness — who would have paired perfectly with Babs on the mic — never got the chance to give the joint album we were looking forward to. Though the altercation between him and Miami rapper Freddy P. is perhaps one of the most memorable altercations of the installments run, Ness kept his cool after Babs left the Bad Boy label and is noted for penning songs on Diddy’s Press Play album. However, a few years back, there was an ongoing feud between he and former bandmate, Chopper that has since been dissolved.
Although not a member of Da Band, Diddy found it necessary at the time to bring Harlem rapper and lyrical champion Jae Millz to go up against E. Ness in an all out freestyle battle. Quite possibly one of the best lyrical battles to ever hit our television screens, Diddy cosigned what many already knew: Jae Millz was destined to be a star.
After his appearance on the show, Millz went on to release his debut single, “No, No, No” and was offered a record deal with Warner Bros. Due to creative differences though, he left the label and signed to Universal. Shortly after his signing, he departed that label too and went on to work on his own. In 2008, he was signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money imprint and was featured on singles such as “Every Girl” and “BedRock.” Despite being on the label for eight years, Millz never went on to release his debut album, Nothing Is Promised, and decided to depart from Young Money earlier this year. Since 2004, the rapper has released almost two dozen mixtapes.
When music mogul and smart businessman, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs — who then went by Diddy — took over MTV’s Making the Band franchise in 2002, no one knew what to expect. Little did we know though, it would over up some of the best business information out there as well as classic television moments. While fans got the opportunity to see how serious Diddy was about his business, it also shed light on how hard it is to make it in the industry if you wanted to work for those well established.
Since wrapping the second season of Making the Band, Diddy went on to create two more installments that offered up super groups Danity Kane and Day 26, as well as solo artist Donnie Klang. Additionally, he has released solo albums, founded the group Dirty Money, starred in films, and continued to leave his mark in the industry by molding hopefuls into stars. Most recently, the mogul celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Bad Boy label and launched a tour with former —and currently signed— artists to coincide. There was a documentary titled Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story to go along with it, too. As of May 2017, Diddy was noted as being the top ranking entrepreneur among entertainers.