AHHA’s Best of 2008: Brandy Part Two

Original Post Date: October 8, 2008Brandy’s road to the top didn’t have its fair share of bumps along the way. In Part Two, we learn about her sticking together with brother Ray J when the media gets brutal, her planning for her ’30s and her rap career that never was, and a “Boy Is Mine” […]

Original Post Date: October 8, 2008Brandy’s road to the top didn’t have its fair share of bumps along the way. In Part Two, we learn about her sticking together with brother Ray J when the media gets brutal, her planning for her ’30s and her rap career that never was, and a “Boy Is Mine” Part Two? AllHipHop.com Alternatives: So what would you say you’re looking forward to the most in your ‘30s coming up?Brandy: They say ‘30s are the new ‘20s, huh.AHHA: Yeah, amen.Brandy: I’m so glad Jay-Z said that ‘cause where would we be in our ‘30s?  AHHA: What are you looking forward to in your ‘30s that you might not have been looking forward to in your ‘20s?Brandy: I’m still trying to get to the place where I am looking forward to my ‘30s. As much as I’ve heard about how great the ‘30s are and how it’s this great life and you’re just gonna have fun, you’re a lot wiser and you’re just gonna do your thing, I am still trying to get to the place, okay, lady in about five-six months you are about to be 30. You are never gonna be in your ‘20s again. I am holding on to this 29 as much as possible. I am still trying to get to this place for sure. I’m happy to be alive for sure. AHHA: Your brother Ray J went through a period of time where he was “Brandy’s brother” and now he really came into his own. How does that make you feel?Brandy: I am so thankful for that because honestly just to see him go through that, I wasn’t able to enjoy everything that I had accomplished because I didn’t feel like I could share that with him because that’s what everybody said – that he was in my shadow and he’s just Brandy’s brother. You know, I‘ve always seen him not just my brother, he’s a talent, he’s an artist; he’s an incredible artist at that. He’s an individual, and I’m just so thankful that he was able to pull through that and now is doing his thing and people have come up to me and said, “Yo that’s Ray J’s sister” and I’ll be like I love that, I love that. I love that we can both do our thing without people just saying that he’s Brandy’s brother or that’s Ray J’s sister or whatever it is. It’s just we’re able to do our own thing, and that’s dope because I can enjoy what I’m doing and he can enjoy what he does in peace and that’s a beautiful thing.AHHA: When the media gets stupid, do you guys pull together? Brandy: Absolutely. Me and Ray have stuck together through it all – through all the media negativity we have been there for each other and that’s what family’s all about, and I know I have a friend in him. He’s my best friend and he’s one of my favorite favorite people in the whole world. And I’m just so thankful he’s my brother. I couldn’t have asked God for a better brother; he’s dope. When I have a weak moment I’m calling Ray J for sure, mom’s first, then Ray.  AHHA: How did it make you feel to see Shar Jackson as a rapper now.Brandy: She is?AHHA: Shar J.Brandy: Shar’s a rapper. Are you serious?AHHA: Yeah, did you see her, she won Celebrity Rap Superstar. She’s got a single out called “Let It Blow.”Brandy: Are you serious? Oh my God, I didn’t know that. I did not know that.AHHA: She went toe to toe with Countess Vaughn rhyming on the show.Brandy: Countess is rapping too?AHHA: Yeah Countess rapped too, it was on the show. Brandy: Okay, well now I feel comfortable with letting AllHipHop.com know my secret.AHHA: You rap on your album?    Brandy: I didn’t rap on the album, but I’m never gonna say it anywhere else. I’m saying it to you guys and you guys can tell everybody you know. I can rap too. I feel so comfortable saying that if my girl is rhyming, if Shar is rapping, Countess is rapping, Brandy’s rapping. I’m like this is it.Let me tell you how I discovered it; it’s such a cute story. I was in the car and I was just outside had the music blasting, my cousin got me all of these beats from a kid in Mississippi where I’m from. They didn’t have any music on them, like no lyrics or nothing. It was just a beat; it was a track. And you know I’ve been rapping with Eminem and 50 and Jay and Kanye for a long time. I can spit all of their lyrics, Lil Wayne too. And I’ve always wanted to rap, and all of a sudden in the car I’m starting to flow off the top of my head, I’m like no wait a minute am I flowing with no paper, no pen, no nothing? I’m on some Jay-Z ish, I’m like this is crazy, right.So I go in the house and I’m like, “Oh my god, Ryan!” Ryan’s my cousin, and I’m like, “Ryan I think I can rap, G. I think I can go.” So I spit it for him, he was like, “Oh my God B you might be onto something, you might be onto something. This is actually good this is actually good.” I called Ray, he was like, “B, I’ma take you to the studio.” So Ray took me to the studio and I did a song and everything. I did, but what happened was is that I think it was so dope and I’m only saying this because I don’t think I’m gonna have a rap career, but I think it was so dope none of my people believed it was me. They thought that I took it from someone else; they never believed I wrote it. They said, “B no one would ever believe you wrote it, no one would ever believe that that was you. Forget about it, get back to singing.” That’s what they told me, so now when I go back to try to flow at the top of my head, it doesn’t come to me anymore because I let them get into my head. AHHA: How’d you let them shut you down?Brandy: They shut me down, and it’s just I think if I really tried again it would happen, but I’ve tried a couple of times and it just didn’t happen.AHHA: So the one that you did do in the studio was good?Brandy: I have like ten songs.AHHA: You should release one of them.Brandy: Nah, I’m too scared that people won’t believe it’s me. It was so dope to me, like it was so good to me. I really felt confident in my rap career. I really thought that I was gonna come back as Young B, as Young Bran. I thought I was gonna come back, but you know my family they said that the fans would be very disappointed. My mom and everybody was like the fans would be very disappointed if you started rapping and no one would believe you. Let’s have a moment of silence for my rap career. [pauses] I have it if you want to hear it, we can set up a leak situation.AHHA: You should. Brandy: I actually did a song called “Vibrant Thing.” Obviously it was a remake of Q-Tip’ “Vivrant Thing” and I played it for Lil’ Kim and she wanted to get on the song with me.AHHA: What? Brandy: I was like you should just do the song. So Lil’ Kim wanted to get on the song with me, I was like no Lil’ Kim you should do it by yourself you can just cut me 50 percent, it’s all good. You get on it, you do it, she’s like, “No I wanna do it with you and that right there made me feel so confident in my rap career.”AHHA: And then what happened?Brandy: I don’t know happened, but I got the whole vibrant thing down.AHHA: Well in the video for the “I Wanna Be Down” remix, you were doing the Hip-Hop bob and weave through the whole song, so it was probably always in you.Brandy: It probably was, but now I don’t know where it is because I got discouraged because everybody said no one will believe you. I was like no that’s because y’all think it’s too good, it’s too good. That’s my way of feeling better.AHHA: Do you have any plans to work with other artists? Your collaboration with Esthero is so perfect that you wouldn’t of thought about it you know?Brandy: Absolutely, I would love to work with a lot of different artists. A dream come true would be to do a duet with Sade and also back to the rapping, I would love to do a rap with Lil Wayne. It’ll probably never happen, but I would love to do that on a mixtape or something I just wanna see if I can just flow with them guys man.AHHA: Lil Wayne jumps on things, that could happen.Brandy: I wanted Ray to send him some of mine, because Ray is a good friend of Lil Wayne. I wanted him to send him some of my rap music. Never did.AHHA: Carter IV, Brandy. So the wrap up question: ten years ago you and Monica went toe to toe for “The Boy is Mine.” Ten years later who won?Brandy: Ten years later who won the boy? I think we both stopped liking the boy. I think we just don’t like the boy no more. I actually reached out to Monica awhile back and I said, “Monica we should get back together and do another song, we should do like ‘The Boy is Mine 2.’ she said, “Girl I ain’t about to be fighting over no boy, I’m too grown for that.” So I got a kick out of that. I really wanna work with her again, I’m so glad she’s coming back out so maybe we can tour or something together.AHHA: Was there a real life rivalry between you two?Brandy: A real life rivalry…I think that our camps tried to make us dislike each other and I never had anything against Monica, and I was so happy that she was a part of “The Boy is Mine.” It wouldn’t of been as big as it was without her. I think you know how camps are, they try to make us compete, and the industry tried to make me, Monica and Aaliyah compete and we were all doing our thing, and we were all successful at what we were doing.Honestly, that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to do the duet with her – to cut down the rivalry, but at the same time we were fighting over a boy [in the song], so I just fed into [it] even more but no that’s my girl. I’m just mad that when I call her she don’t call me back. I pick up the phone, but she’s a momma with two beautiful babies, so I understand. But call me back Mo. Call me back.AHHA: It’s hard to believe that there are some young people who might’ve never heard the music of Brandy. How do you plan to reach them?Brandy: I think for the new fans the music will sell itself, you know what I’m saying? You know seeing me on the television and really connecting with me, that’s what’s gonna get them to connect with me. It’s interesting – I went to Fashion Week here in New York, and it was these young kids they just gathered around me as if they’d been following my music forever. They were blowing me kisses and kissing me on the cheek and all sorts of things, so I feel like my presence is definitely a sweet presence. I think that people will embrace me just because I’m gonna embrace them and I‘m somebody you can reach out and touch. I’m a big sister, a friend, a godmom, whatever and I think that’s what’s gonna connect the new fans to me, and I look forward to meeting them. I look forward to seeing them at my concerts. But at the end of the day, I’m destined to be here. I’m here on purpose, and I have to take care of my responsibility and that’s giving music to the world and showing people that I’m a living example to be whatever you want to be through it all no matter what. You’re only a failure if you stay down.Check out Part One if you missed it.