From Brittany B To Bee-B: Way More Than Just A Songwriter

AllHipHop spoke with Bee-B in downtown Los Angeles to discuss how “Confidence” came to be with Harmony Samuels, creative vision with the visual, Black Girl Magic, her time on Love & Hip Hop, roots in Compton, getting the co-sign from Missy Elliott, working with Babyface, and more!

Bee-B is a powerhouse singer, songwriter, rapper, A&R, and reality television star out of Compton, California, and she’s been putting in that work!

Jump Starting her career writing some of Bhad Bhabies greatest hits, from “These Heaux” to “Mama Don’t Worry,” real name Brittany B has come a long way from songwriting behind-the-scenes to now unleashing her own original music under the moniker Bee-B.

Speaking on her name change, she states, “I wanted to make sure there was a distinction between my songwriting and my artistry. I’m always credited as a songwriter as Brittany B, Brittany Barber. When I’m dropping music, it’s Bee-B. Also, it’s psychological. People often associate you with whatever you’ve done before, it’s hard for them to see you in a different light. The name change was a very distinct way to completely separate my songwriting from artistry so that people gave me a clean slate and paid attention to the music from me as an artist.”

If there’s one thing you can expect from Bee-B’s music, it’s the fact that it’s filled with substance. On her newest single “Confidence,” Bee-B stands for strength, self-love, and knowing your worth, pairing it with an equally powerful visual where she pays homage to the legendary Michael Jackson. Additionally, you can catch Bee-B on the recent season of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.

AllHipHop: “Confidence” was produced by Harmony Samuels, shout out to him. Was it done in the studio?

Bee-B: Yes, we did this record together during quarantine. If you could make a record that’s a cool anthem that speaks to women, what would that sound like? It was mostly me. This is what I say when I’m talking to my homegirls: “look how you rock that fit, look how you got them sick. Must be your confidence!“ That’s how I came up out of it. He killed the beat and the rest is where it is now.

AllHipHop: What was your creative vision with the visual? I love how it had that old school, R&B aesthetic.

Bee-B: We wanted to create something and get back to when music videos had a theme, music videos when they gave you something to watch. Because content is so big now, everybody thinks “content is key, I gotta get something out.” So you see every person standing in a car. [Laughs] Every person is sitting on a porch. Everybody’s at the crib, every girl is laying in the bed. I swear! [laughs]

AllHipHop: It’s like everything has been done…

Bee-B: Right. Nobody’s willing to take risks anymore, to really put their money, effort, time to invest into their artistry. For me, if I’m going to do this and step out of the spotlight as an artist, I’ma do it right. The creativity came from: we’re going to be as creative as f###. We’re gonna go there, there’s nothing we can’t do. Forget conforming to who’s cute, what looks sexy or what everybody else is doing. Nah, this is a form of self-expression and you want to set a trend. You want to get people’s attention. If everybody’s going right, I want to go the opposite. Guess what they gon’ do? Everyone’s going to turn and look at me, they’re trying to figure out why I’m not following the crowd. That’s where I was with it.

AllHipHop: Where was the video shot?

Bee-B: It was shot here in Los Angeles. It was directed by AZ Films. Myself, Harmony, and the director collaborated on the treatment.

AllHipHop: I love that Harmony had a hand in that, that’s tight.

Bee-B: Yeah, especially after “Stretch.” We’ve all been a collaborative effort in making sure with each record, what the visual is going to look like. We almost see the visual while we’re making the record. Also the bars, your bars gotta be descriptive and hitting for you to have that creativity. When I say “Pretty Young Thang on my PYT,” that’s a reference to Michael Jackson. Why wouldn’t I want to pay homage?

AllHipHop: What does Black Girl Magic mean to you?

Bee-B: Black Girl Magic means that despite the obstacles that they put in front of me, I’m still going to turn lemons into lemonade baby. I’m still going to turn nothing into something.

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AllHipHop: How’s your experience been on Love & Hip Hop?

Bee-B: I recently did some guest star appearances on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. Yung Baby Tate, shout out to my girl. Her and I collaborated on one of the singles off her album, the record’s called “Bounce.” That’s another boss b#### anthem we did together. I had a lot of fun, she’s hella cool. She’s one of the first people I met in Atlanta, showed me love. Naturally when I found out she’s going to do the show, we talked about that and s### here we are. The show’s been great. It’s definitely more positive…

AllHipHop: Then people make it out to be?

Bee-B: No, it’s more positive than it was. Due to Black Lives Matter, due to women empowerment now and the #MeToo movement. The network has been wanted to be more empowering. Less ratchet, less fighting, less throwing drinks in each other’s face. It isn’t really too much of that anymore. Don’t say it’s not no drama because it is, there’s drama, but the drama is real life drama. Talking to your friend, resolving the conflict. Talking to your family members who you might have an issue with, dealing with your baby daddy that’s in your life. For me, I’ve been having fun.

AllHipHop: Do you have a love interest on the show?

Bee-B: I don’t have a love interest on the show but I am dating somebody… who I’m considering taking on the show.

AllHipHop: Is he in the music industry?

Bee-B: He is.

AllHipHop: Do I know him?

Bee-B: You might. [laughs]

AllHipHop: Coming up in Compton, you had your own experiences in the city. Did you think you’d be here today? All these accomplishments under your belt.

Bee-B: No, I did not think I’d be here today. My path for myself was so different then what my path has been. But I’ve never been out, and I’m really grateful for that. I knew that I’ve wanted to do music since I was 8 years old. I’ve been singing since I was 8, I knew that. Obviously we all have things we would’ve done different, but for the most part I’m really grateful.

AllHipHop: How does it feel to get the co-sign from Missy and Timbaland?

Bee-B: Oh God! I didn’t think they were going to clear the record, so I’m really happy that they did.

AllHipHop: Did you have to pull strings?

Bee-B: You know, that’s all Harmony. [Laughs] I remember the night before the record released that we did have their clearance, for us to release the record and it wouldn’t be taken down. That’s another thing about the music business. I’m an artist that because I work on both sides, I understand how the music business works. You can’t interpolate other people’s records, sample records and not get clearances because they’ll shut your s### down. So I made sure to get that. I wanted to make sure I paid them respect, that I respected what they had done before us. I didn’t want it to be another “Blurred Lines” situation with Robin Thicke and Marvin Gaye. [laughs]

AllHipHop: Wild! I interviewed Robin Thicke last year too.

Bee-B: Even with that it’s a sticky situation, because we are heavily influenced by each other. Oftentimes, I don’t think creatives mean any disrespect towards other creatives. I think they genuinely are inspired. I’ve been inspired by Missy and Timbaland since I was little. I’ve always raped and sung like Missy I’m a dark skin woman just like Missy. I’m a curvier girl just like Missy, I’m super creative just like her. I wanted to make sure the respect was there.

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AllHipHop: How was it working with Babyface?

Bee-B: Oh my god, Babyface?! Bruh, he’s incredible. I think he’s 60 at this point, and he sounds as if he’s 25. He’s still in it, still in the thick of music. He put on a songwriters camp for an untitled project he’s working on in Atlanta, along with Ciroc. Keyz from Ayo & Keyz is the head producer who put it together. They had Samye Scott from Atlantic Records. They went around to each room talking to us, guiding us, mentoring us, writing with us.

It was a once in a lifetime experience, I’m really grateful. At the time, I was asking God “give me a sign to keep going.” I got that call like damn! Just to be amongst everyone else: Eric Bellinger was there. Hitmaker was there. The producer SK, there were so many producers. Chris Tucker even popped up just to be in the room, it was such a star-studded event. Tricky Stewart, Sean Garrett, Dallas Austin.

AllHipHop: Those are Atlanta GOATs!

Bee-B: Right! And I got to be there. I was so nervous, but also very grateful.

AllHipHop: Did you learn anything from working with them?

Bee-B: I learned to take my time with making records. Not hopping in and freestyling because it sounds cool, but really taking the time to understand what it is that you’re saying and why you’re saying it. Babyface kept asking “well, why are you saying that?” Walking through the song, he’s like “why are you jumping to this part?” We were talking about the songs and the lyrics, that opened up my mind up to a while different style of songwriting and method of songwriting. I’m really grateful, I got to learn from the GOAT!