Yesterday, Day26 released a statement announcing their breakup:
It is with great sadness and deep pain that we regret to inform you that effective immediately, Atlantic Records Platinum recording group, DAY26 have decided to take a break from the group and focus on their own individual projects.
Of course, you can’t read about Day26 disbanding without the next sentence blaming the “Bad Boy Curse” for the split. What’s the Bad Boy Curse? It’s Boyz N Da Hood, 112, Da Band, Dream, Total, The Lox, Danity Kane, 8ball & MG, B5…and Day26. It’s Carl Thomas, Faith Evans, Ma$e, Donnie Klang, Elephant Man, Loon, Shyne, Cheri Dennis, Yung Joc, Lil Kim, Cassie and the people I left out whom you can feel free to mention in the comments section that never made it big because the signed with Diddy’s label.
According to Hip Hop Wired:
Back in the ‘90s Puffy and his crew ruled the charts, but cut to present day and most (if not all) of his top-selling artists have either found themselves in legal hot water, or had a religious awakening of some sort.
Or, they simply vanish.
This wretched reputation is not lost on the founder of Bad Boy Records himself, Sean “Diddy” Combs, who told Hip Hop Connection:
Over the last couple of years, there’s been a strong propaganda movement that’s been brewing in the negative sense against Bad Boy, against what it is to sign to the Bad Boy label, if it’s a detriment to your career. Just hate. Just regular hate and also a lot of people not understanding how this industry works.
This is a hard industry. This is not for kids. This is not for the weak. If you are weak, you will get eaten alive in this industry. This industry has a life expectancy of like two years.
It started a couple of years ago like, ‘What happened with this artist? Why isn’t this artist still on the label?’ So people started to try to give us a bad rap and spread that propaganda through the new generation. When honestly, nobody on Def Jam’s still on Def Jam. No one who was on Roc-A-Fella is still on Roc-A-Fella. There’s not even still a Roc-A-Fella. It was named something else. We the last people standing, we the last crew standing. And I’m not saying that with any disrespect towards anybody’s name who I just said. We not letting that propaganda ride.
I’m loath to agree with Diddy, but he’s right that the turnover rate in the industry is notoriously high and people who have signed with other labels have also vanished, gotten into legal trouble or jumped on the Jesus train. It’s not like Bad Boy is the only label with epic failures on its roster.
However, what Diddy fails to realize is that if you insist on taking all credit for the good (appearing in every music video, hollering in the background of every song, and even making a reality show about making a “band” that doesn’t play a single instrument), then you will certainly take the blame when those artists fail, no matter how inevitable. Can’t blame the industry for the fall if you’re not going to credit it for the rise. In fact, Diddy’s reputation is that if a group isn’t doing as well as it should be, he drops them and begins working on the “next big thing”. Ironically, his latest failure was his own group Diddy-Dirty Money. The Bad Boy Curse has been documented for years and for him to wave it off like it doesn’t exist is preposterous.
With all of that said though, I still think it’s too simplistic to blame the demise of Day26 on Diddy and the supposed Bad Boy Curse.
Day26 failed because, with the exception of maybe the Jonas Brothers, boy bands haven’t been popular since the 90’s. Though Day26’s latest album was titled “New Day” they were actually reminiscent of the “Old Days” when groups like Immature, Boyz II Men, Jagged Edge, New Edition, and yes, 112 were our favorites.
Why Diddy felt the need to hop in a time machine and ride back to 1995 to form a male or female “supergroup” is beyond me. Unfortunately, Day26 was pretty much bound to fail from the beginning simply because groups don’t make it anymore. In our personality driven culture, it’s less about the Destiny’s Childs and *NSyncs and more about the Beyonces and Justin Timberlakes.
Further, this group was the result of a reality show. How many of these reality show winners really win in the industry? I’m not just talking about Making the Band, but also American Idol, The Voice, Duets, America’s Got Talent, X-Factor, America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway, and etc. These days, it seems the best way to get ahead in your career via a reality show is to be a Real Housewife or Bachelor or star on some other reality show that actually has nothing to do with your career aspirations. For one reason or another, and with the exception of a handful of people, winning a talent-based reality show doesn’t do much in the way of guaranteeing success.
In addition, while plenty of artists met their demise still signed to the Bad Boy Label, Day 26 left Bad Boy years ago and barely did a thing since. Even if the group was never signed to Bad Boy, there’s a pretty good chance that they wouldn’t have achieved much more than did under the label.
The “Bad Boy Curse” may apply to an alarming number of artists, but Day26 is probably not one of them.
What do you think? Is Diddy the reason why Day26 failed? Which member (Robert Curry, Brian Andrews, Willie Taylor, and Michael McCluney) do you think may go on to have a successful solo career? Or is it over for all of them?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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