Taking BitchAssNess to the Bank

Right now, we’re one week from MTV’s finale of Making the Band 4 — the third season helmed by rapper/producer Sean “Puffy/Diddy/McFlurry” Combs. This year, Combs opted against just creating a new band and instead pitched his most successful outfit — girl group Danity Kane — against a new male supergroup, Day26. For weeks now, the two have been locked in the studio in an effort to finish their own albums, and the first to arrive is Danity Kane’s Welcome to the Dollhouse. It came out this Tuesday, March 18th.

I’m not writing this article to review the CD. Nor am I going to spend one more minute detailing the plot intricacies of Making the Band 4, outside of mentioning that Diddy has a new catchphrase — “No BitchAssNess” — and is selling shirts at the Sean John store in NYC to celebrate. (Combs describes BitchAssNess as highly contagious and dangerous.)

The reason I’m spending any time at all on any of this ludacris horseshit is because it actually appears to be working — and the Making the Band franchise has been more familiar with misses than hits in its four-season run. Diddy in particular proved entirely incapable of launching a supergroup to success in the second season, when Da Band became more well-known for getting cheesecake than getting cheddar. (Their album, Too Hot For T.V., sold well under estimates, and its lead single stalled at #50 on the Billboard charts.)

This season, however, the stars seem to be aligning in Diddy’s favor — and I can’t come close to explaining it. Welcome to the Dollhouse, the aforementioned sophomore effort from Season 3’s Danity Kane, currently sits at #2 and #3 on the iTunes Album Chart. (That accounts for both the regular and deluxe versions.) The lead single, “Damaged,” might break the iTunes Top 10 by this weekend, and DK has three other singles scattered throughout the Top 100. What’s more, Billboard has Welcome in contention for next week’s best-selling album in the country, and various websites are predicting sales of up to 250,000. If Danity Kane can manage to fend off a bevy of new releases and current Billboard stalwarts — Gnarls Barkley, Flo Rida, Jack Johnson, and so forth — then it will truly be a testament to Diddy’s ability to move product with very little promotion outside of his television show. Otherwise, BitchAssNess wins?

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