On the final episode of MTV’s “Making The Band 2.” the world saw Fred just quit, refusing to return from his Florida home to venture back to New York. In a profanity-laced blaze of glory, the Miami-native cursed out P.Diddy’s handlers (and Da Band’s manager) in a way that truly oozed exasperation and frustration. Things are often different they they seem, especially in reality TV, he maintains. Through the power of editing, he feels as if his (and the entire band’s) image has been distorted unfairly.
Nevertheless, the appeal of the show cannot be denied and its popularity translated into Da Band’s “Too Hot For TV” moving roughly 800,000 units strong. Much of that success grew into emptiness to Fred, who was known for his gritty rhymes and animated stage presence. In an exclusive with Allhiphop.com, Fred speaks on his former band mates, why he feels the show was ended, and the possibility of life after Bad Boy.
AllHipHop.com: Tell the world your side of the story with Puff breaking up Da Band.
Fred: Basically, it was nothing. It is what it is. It’s a show and they did what they had to do. The reason for me leaving is I got my own issues, you know what I’m saying? Everybody in Da Band had somebody that took care of them. I ain’t never came up like that, dog. I’m came up a different kind of way, man. All the issues them motherf**kers have, you know what I’m saying? It’s like, it’s all love and you grow fond of a motherf**ker like they are your brother or sister, but in reality, it’s not. Therefore, why am I suffering for these problems? That’s how I felt. I’m through with that s**t, man. On top of that, the money wasn’t right. Ni**as should be halfway millionaires, but everybody’s getting f**ked. Everybody in the f**king band had problems. The only problem I had was being away from my family.
AllHipHop.com: Rumor has it, the first contract you signed was for something like $8,000?
Fred: Man, that s**t was crazy. We signed contracts before we met Puff. So either way it goes, we was f**ked. We wound up having to get [Diddy’s manager] Phil Robinson [as Da Band’s manager], which was kind of a bad idea and kind of a good idea. In the long run, it hurt us, but at the time we needed him. That kept a lot of money from coming our way. Shows were getting canceled and all types of s**t. I’m the type of ni**a that feels like if I got to get it like that, I’d rather get it on the street. I don’t need to be hustlin’ for another motherf**ker who’s getting way more money than I am off a project. But it’s all love. A ni**a ain’t got no hate. What more can he do for me but take from me?
I’m focused on my own project. I got a clothing line called “Eddie Kane.” The name of my group is “Hardheadz.” My diapers and pacifier game is about to hit the streets in a minute. I’m fittin’ to do it different. A ni**a can’t hold me down. I’m rich. I didn’t make more than $65,000 with Bad Boy, but I’m rich. Not with money, just my face. My face can generate money at any time. I got a couple of deals on the table now, but I’m looking for the major label deal. I got this album fittin’ to come out called Life’s What You Make It. The streets need to know about that.
AllHipHop.com: What did the whole Bad Boy experience teach you about the game and the music industry?
Fred: I learned a lot from Puff. He didn’t teach us nothing, but we watched from the outside. You’ve got some CEOs who’ll teach you about the game and want to see you do good. Then you got some ni**as that’s only about business. We didn’t even have a budget; you know what I’m saying? We don’t know what was spent. We didn’t do too much spending because MTV paid for everything. They was paying Puff rent for us staying in the house and they was making money off the show. Money was generating everywhere for them. I feel them, though, because when you look at something like that, it’s an opportunity. [Puff] looked at it like there was more money to be made.
He didn’t know us from a hole in the wall. In the beginning when he took a crack at it, I could see he was pimpin’ us the first season. He got off hard. The second season, I could still see he was doing it, but he was looking out for ni**as. His whole intention was to show the world that he brought these ni**as from the hood, did something for them, and he didn’t have to. That’s the whole thing they are trying to get the world to believe. If your heart was really like that, around the second season, you would have made sure ni**as was straight. Due to the success we brought them, I would have made sure Da Band was halfway millionaires. You would think he would have the audacity to at least look out for a motherf**ker, but it’s all good. He brought me where I’m at. And he can’t take that from me. That’s something God took me through. I had to go through that to get here.
AllHipHop.com: Talk about some of the portrayals of the band members and if all of what we saw on TV was actually true.
Fred: How could you tell the world you are going to kick out somebody like me? They convinced the world that Dylan is a rebel, Babs starts s**t, Chopper is immature, and they tried to convince the world that Ness was quiet, but due to the second season, we all know that he has another side. But I respect that; I respect all of them. There were little things on the show that was meant to sabotage me. Like when they played our songs in his office and they played my beat. On every beat that came with my voice and he said he didn’t like the hook. It wasn’t a beat I actually rapped over. It was a beat that MTV played and made it sound offbeat.
Allhiphop.com: They edited the show to make it sound that way?
Fred: Yeah, it was some editing s**t. When Ness’s s**t came off, he was the only one that got his real beat from the studio. When they tried to make it seem like Ness was the only one in the studio, I didn’t like that. That’s something I took real personal. They know in their heart who they had the most work from. They can’t stop me, man. That little move didn’t stop me. The devil’s going to throw sticks and stones, but you got to get where you are going, though.
AllHipHop.com: We spoke to Dylan recently about some of the other editing that was supposedly going on. According to him, the show was edited to make it seem like Puff blatantly threw him out in the street. Is that how things went down?
Fred: On some real s**t, it just happened like a week ago. Da Band’s show has been over for a month. They wanted to come back last week to film, and we were in North Carolina. I got tired of those motherf**kers just popping up. They don’t know what we may be doing. They just want us to jump on a plane and go get a $1,000 check, when another motherf**ker might get a $100,000 check. Puff’s going to get his check and it’s going to be real big. On the last episode, they want a ni**a to just jump up and come back, not knowing I’m already grinding. I ain’t heard nothing from Bad Boy, ain’t seen no Bad Boy, and they canceled our shows in December, so ni**as is getting their paper on their own. Now that I’m making my paper, they just asked me to jump and come back to New York to do a show. I got another show to do that’s going to pay me $4,000 just to appear. I’m renting this car and I’m renting it by the week, so I’m spending money to make money. Bad Boy ain’t generating no money in my cycle.
AllHipHop.com: How did that make you feel?
I got tired of that s**t. That was like the 18th time that s**t had happened. Fred can’t take too much more of the bulls**t! I’m about business, but the bulls**t can stay away from me. I don’t know how to deal with fakeness and bulls**t. I ain’t scared of nobody, and I always trained myself to have no reason to lie. The worse thing a motherf**ker can do is tell me no, but they can’t do nothing to me. As you can see, I’m the only one that didn’t have an episode. That’s because I didn’t have issues like that. During the 3rd season, I was just here for a check. I know that they was taking my life and making millions and millions of dollars, and I was getting $600 a week! That was for a three month period.
Once the three month period ran out, I didn’t get any royalties from the show if my music didn’t get played on the show. I did everything I had to do as an artist. I noticed that I was a character and my artistic skills weren’t being shown. But right now, I’m just chillin’, man. I’m low-key right now; I’m off from the world. On focusing on June 1st, when my beats come out. That’s when I’m going to let the grind out.