Hip-hop Media training

Brandy Reemerges As A Rapper-Bran’ Nu

Hip-Hop Media Training

In 1999, pop singer Brandy released a song called "U Don't Know Me (Like U UsedTo)."

It took 10 years, but now we know what she is referring to.We've known her as the cute girl next door who sang songs about puppy love and portrayedthe sweet high schooler on her hit TV show "Moesha."

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Her 1998 duet with Monica, "The Boy Is Mine," earned thethen teen singers their first Grammy.

But Brandy, the singer and actress, has recently revealed aside of herself unknown to even die-hard fans including this blogger.

Brandy has a rap alter ego, Bran' Nu, who was recently puton display on Timbaland's new album, "Shock Value II." Bran' Nu appears on thesong "Meet In Tha Middle," and performed with Timbaland at his Flordia albumrelease party.

Bran' Nu is not Moesha, or the Brandy Norwood we have cometo know from her music.

Bran' Nu sounds like a credible rapper with good lyrics.She's not a pop incarnation rapper like other transformed pop divas, Fergie,Nelly Furtado or Gwen Stefani.

On the bouncy, party flavored "Meet In Tha Middle," Timbalandand Brand' Nu trade lyrical jabs about a problematic relationship. She alsojoins Timbaland on another song, "Symphony," featuring Attitude and DOE. Thelatter is a remake of the '80s Juice Crew classic of thesame name featuring Masta Ace, Craig C, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane.

It is ironic that Brandy's new persona is introduced on analbum called "Shock Value," as it comes as a complete surprise.

Bran' Nu told MTVthat she has been rapping for a while. "I was rapping as a hobby, justsomething I did for my friends, just played around on videos and stuff likethat," she said.

She posted some of her videos on YouTube and when Timbalandsaw one of them, he immediately called her. "He was like, 'Yo you have to dothis. You have to come to the studio next week. We got to really get in andjust see how you sound.'"

Timbaland was impressed and decided to feature her rappingon his album, and gave her the rap alias, Bran' Nu. Timbaland's stamp ofapproval is a big deal. He produced several songs on her 2004 album,"Afrodisiac," but he is also known for working with the biggest names inrap-Jay-Z, Snoop, and Eminem.

Bran' Nu appreciates Timbaland's support. "He really justallowed me to be as free as I wanted to be," she said. "I wrote my own verses,just anything I did I wrote myself. And it was a great experience...It feels likethis is what I'm supposed to do."

Timbaland wants Brandy's next album to be half rap, and halfsinging.

Brandy wants to join Timbaland's label family. "I reallywant to sign with Timbaland and spend the rest of my career making music withhim."

Brandy's last album, "Human," was released in December 2008.

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