The very polarizing “Making the Band” took the art of creating a platinum selling group and turned it into a cheap soap opera/pre-cursor to the circus that now is “Love and Hip-Hop.” As fun as this ‘MTB’ was to watch, its murderous delivery was sure to take a few casualties with it, and none are more of a shining example than the Diddy-frankensteined boy-band Day26.
It wasn’t until a recent listen of ‘The Joe Budden Podcast’ that I realized just how great Day26’s music was. I had purchased both their debut on CD back in 2008 and their follow-up one-year later, but I put them away shortly after my first run with them and never picked them back up. I was also sad to learn after a quick Google-search that they never released another full-length again. Their most recent claim-to-fame was their bout with Diddy over them being left off the Bad Boy Reunion tour back in 2016.
Now, I don’t know the inner-workings of their business dealings or why Diddy chose to distance himself from the group, but there was definitely a time where they made Biggie-level classic music starting with their first album. Diddy pulled out the big guns for them back-then linking the hopeful stars with multi-platinum producer and writer Brian Michael Cox who had penned smashes like ‘Confessions Part II’ for Usher, ‘Shake It Off’ for Mariah Carey, and Mary J. Blige’s ‘Be Without You.’ Cox wrote over half the album which made for what sounds like a project full of countless hits. Unfortunately, their negative press from ‘MTB’ overshadowed the quality of the music and it seemed like even Diddy couldn’t fan the flames.
At the time I remember loving this record and playing tracks like “Exclusive”, “In My Bed”, “Don’t Fight the Feeling”, and “Got Me Going”, over and over again while mostly everyone else was bumping the latest from Lil Wayne and T-Pain.
A change in the music market also hurt the group. Illegal downloading was at an all-time high in 2008 and auto-tuned R&B/rap was dominating the charts so their classic R&B approach didn’t work for the mainstream.
In just a few years a market definitely would have opened-up for them, but by then they broke-up and Diddy had distanced himself. Danity Kane, the group’s pop-centered female counterpart, also hurt Day26’s chances by having a monster hit with ‘Damaged’ and not being able to hold it together as a group. Diddy personally disbanded them during the show. (Who knows if that was real).
The fall-out resulted in another season of MTB that focused on Day26 crafting a follow-up with some of the same producers and a few of the hot artists at the time like T-Pain and Yung Joc. So, very surprisingly, Day26 crafted another great album that included some new sounds and kept some of what worked on the first including Brian Michael Cox who wrote at least 25 percent of this project. They scored a semi-hit with “Imma Put on Her,” but shortly after the show ended, the group’s buzz had basically fizzled out.
However, their legacy lives on with R&B lovers like myself and Joe Budden who recently played their music on his podcast and called their debut a “classic album.” I totally agree with him, and if you love R&B, you need to give both Day26 albums a listen and petition Diddy for a proper follow-up.
The group is currently touring with 90s boy band Immature so check them out if you get a chance.