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From pop star to mystical figure in TV show

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Exactly 20 years ago, this year, “I’ve Got A Little Something For You” was featured in the Bad Boys movie, featuring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and the song’s singers, MN8, started touring Europe opening for Janet Jackson.

It was the perfect kick off for a new group and they went on to sell millions of copies of both the single as well as their debut album “To The Next Level”. However, by the time the second album, “Freaky”, came out, the group was already unhappy.

R&B, from the middle until the end of the 90s, was booming business. Both the smooth silky sounds, in which Babyface pioneered at the time, as well as the nitty gritty Hip Hop inspired sounds (Jodeci, Dru Hill) and New Jack Swing (Guy, R. Kelly) were all dominant on radio and in the charts.

However, so were the pop boybands.

This caused for an interesting situation for MN8, whose members were into R&B, and record company Sony wanted to turn them into a pop boyband. Those, who watched from a distance, know them as the pop group Sony pushed, but those who bought the singles noticed something different on its B-sides.

The compromise between the group and Sony was that the group would get the freedom to try their R&B songs on the singles. So, remixes were made, for instance with the help of Jodeci member Mr. Dalvin and Diddy, whose MN8 remix was actually his first for Bad Boys. Alongside, exclusive, previously unreleased, R&B songs were added.

I was into both types of music, and to a certain extend I still am today, so for me MN8 were a great combo of everything I liked anyway. It was no accident that MN8 became the first topic of a website I had designed, which later turned into their official website. It also led to receiving little handwritten notes by member Dee-Tails and him being the only remaining former MN8 member, who I can still call a Facebook friend today.

MN8 were known to reach out to fans anyway. They would surprise fans many times with a phone call or a handwritten note,  which was one of the reasons the group managed to build up a fan base who really stuck by the group. Mind you, this was in a time without social media and direct contact with your favorite star was pretty much unthinkable.

Still, when “Freaky” commercially disappointed, the group was dropped by Sony and that ended the group. A comeback, though often rumored to come, hasn’t happened so far and I, personally, doubt it ever will.

For Dee-Tails, this started a career switch. He started acting and has been doing some small music things every once in a while, like feature on a club track by Leeds singer Robbie Glover. I wish I could update you about what the other members are up to now, but I last heard from them so many years ago, I bet everything has changed by now.

I do want to share with you this episode of the TV series `Jekyll and Hyde”, which you can catch on ITV if you´re in the UK. The show is pretty addictive, but Dee-Tails is also playing in it. You'll see him like you never saw him before, as he plays a mystical figure in this episode.