Ness of Da Band: Holding It Down

While Dylan and Fred made names for themselves as memorable TV characters with their antics on the finale of Making the Band 2, Ness remained focused on his craft in hopes of becoming just as memorable, but in the music business. Because of his focus, he, along with Babs, was selected by P.Diddy to remain […]

While Dylan and Fred made names for themselves as memorable TV characters with their antics on the finale of Making the Band 2, Ness remained focused on his craft in hopes of becoming just as memorable, but in the music business. Because of his focus, he, along with Babs, was selected by P.Diddy to remain with Bad Boy, albeit on a probationary basis. “All I wanted was a chance,” Ness told of his being retained.

But some band mates believed Ness was the recipient of unwarranted favoritism. “Diddy love Ness,” Sara remarked during one episode. He contends, however, it was his work ethic, coupled with his talent, which earned him the respect of the Bad Boy CEO. With numerous shots of the Philly-bred rapper in the studio, it appeared he worked harder than Donovan McNabb trying to find an open receiver in the NFC Championship Game. Here, Ness sets the record straight and talks about the show, Bad Boy Records and what’s next. So what’s been going on with you since the show has ended?

Ness: Just working on my album, trying to get Diddy to put out [my solo] album. It’s nothing official, right now everything’s just been words. In the midst of all that, I just dropped a mixtape called Rhyme or Crime: The Leak Vol. 1 Elliot Ness Presents. I jumped on a remix with Carl Thomas—the “Make It Alright” remix. They about to drop the single “My ‘Hood.” The album’s called Nessessary. So I got a lot of things cookin’, man. In between that I take care of my daughter. I just got my plate full. On the last show, Diddy talked about keeping you and Babs, but on a probationary basis. Is that still the case or has it since been lifted?

Ness: Just yesterday he hollered at me and told me that we’re just gonna start putting songs out there. Basically, Diddy gave me a chance; he gave me a shot. Whether you sink or fail is up to you. I think I got the material to sail off into the sunset. I don’t think that I’ve been putting mediocre stuff together. I saw a DVD that had a bunch of Philly cats rhyming on it and you were on there going hard. Have you had a problem with the show where people see you as a character, rather than as someone who has skills?

Ness: From the jump, people saw it as a TV show, they didn’t actually respect the fact that it was [the] actual recording [of an album] and s**t. Now I’m just trying to get all the votes up in my favor. I’m definitely a real Hip-Hop artist. I love doing it. I would be doing it even it I wasn’t signed to Bad Boy. I just love creating and coming out with hot music. All you can do it keep coming with that music and after a while they ain’t gonna be able to deny it. It’s the same thing Jigga said, “Come into the game they try to play you/ drop a couple of hits look how they wave to you.” So everybody’s time is coming. You mentioned how MTV focused on the drama, we’ve already talked with Dylan and Fred and they both complained about the editing of the show—

Ness: Man, I really…MTV is a TV show. [But] most of what you saw is real, so I can’t really be mad or complain about how they edit it. They chop up the situations and the comments about certain situations and try to stick it and paste it with another situation, which made it seem like we were talking about each other when we wasn’t. But in reality, these were the things that we said and these are the things that we did. Whether they showed a lot of the good parts or a lot of the bad parts, we signed a contract and really it was up to MTV. What’s your take on Fred and his phone call in the last episode?

Ness: I really didn’t feel no way about it. Fred talked like that all the time. That wasn’t the first time I heard Fred say that. Or that wasn’t the first time Fred told them he didn’t want to be in the group—to Bad Boy or to Puffy’s face. Fred, Chopper, they always go around saying they don’t want to be in the group no more, they tired of it, so it wasn’t new to me. Have you heard Dylan’s song “Dear Diddy”?

Ness: Nah, I’m not really focused on the negativity and all that with Dylan and Fred. Diddy gave us all the opportunity and it was up to us whether or not if we wanted to ride or fall off. Dylan is a grown man and chose to do what he wanted to do. He knew he had trouble with the system and you know you suppose to stay on point. Then again, I heard he left it up to Bad Boy to handle all his business, which is wrong because Bad Boy ain’t on probation he was. You can’t put your life and you future in the hands of another person. It was kinda like both sides tried to point the finger, but it was just a lack of communication. Dylan wasn’t communicating with his people, he left it up to Bad Boy. Bad Boy was telling Dylan everything was good and he was able to leave the city and perform with us. Then when he came back everything was screwed up. I wanted to ask you about your experience from season to season. I believe it was during the second season that you were caught up fighting and then this past season, as Fred told us, you were the quiet one.

Ness: Anybody who watched Making the Band they could see the growth. I’m talking about everybody. You seen other people get hungrier and you seen other people just lose the hunger. In the beginning, we was all fighting for recognition just to stand out. So I guess I got in a couple conflicts, physical disputes over my character. Diddy feels as though I was the captain or so-called leader, the other members feel jeopardized by that. Sometimes they try to lean on the favoritism thing, but when I signed up – I was there to win. So I can’t really get into the emotional side of the whole thing, because ain’t nobody ever gave me nothing. I went up there, rapped and Diddy liked it. With all the experiences you had with the show, whether it was good or bad, if MTV approached you with a show to follow your solo career, would you do it again?

Ness: I definitely would do it. If the check was right, I’d do anything at this point. I’m trying to be rich. I went to MTV about doing another show. Any last words?

Ness: Despite what they saying we all got love for each other. We squad. We always gonna be a part of Da Band. I got love for all my band members. I’m always representin’ it. I got music out there. I got my own Web site I got a chat box, so you can chat with me. I got pictures on there, behind the scenes of Making the Band. So everybody hop on that joint.