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Despite this backdrop of praise from industry peers and fans alike, many have argued that Brandy never quite got her just due as one of the most distinct and talented voices of R&B. Yes, she was a child star who ascended to become one of the biggest pop stars of her time — but she was also the target of harsh and oftentimes undeserving criticisms of her looks, her sound and some of the low points in her personal life.
Here was this brown girl with box braids breaking color barriers as the star of her own hit sitcom “Moesha,” having a Barbie doll made in her likeness and inspiring generations of African-American girls. In 2004, Robert Smith, the father of Brandy’s daughter, Sy’rai, revealed that he and Brandy were not legally married despite claims they were, particularly in the MTV reality special “Brandy: Special Delivery.” Smith told Wendy Williams that he went along with the marriage to protect Brandy’s squeaky-clean image.
The public often compared their voices and, sadly, their looks.
Monica was “Miss Thang,” the homegirl from around the way who had the more traditional voice suitable for ballads.
Last night, Brandy changed the lyrics during her #Soul Train Awards performance allegedly taking shots at #Monica. pic.twitter.com/Zqk68Yx Z3R — the Jasmine (@thejasminebrand) November 28, 2016 Changing the lyrics to her Kanye West-produced record “Talk About Our Love,” Brandy sang, “Then your whole fan base jumps in, now the whole [Insta]gram’s buzzing.” The one-liner was an obvious reference to recent tension between her and Monica.
Monica was the tall, model-esque beauty, while Brandy had more exotic features — Asian-like eyes, small button nose and full lips — which she was both praised and ridiculed for.And even when Mariah Carey, for example, came close to such criticism, it was often passed off as simply a part of her diva ways.Brandy does not seem to be afforded the same shade-pass.In a lengthy response back to the commenter, Brandy wrote: “Problem with everybody is ya’ll don’t [know] anything about the streets…but I have the guts not [to] hide shade in class, diamonds and pearls..I tell the truth just like it is…I will never allow another person to belittle me publicly and have the discernment to know that that’s exactly what’s being done and not use my voice to defend my position as [a] person and a polished entertainer.Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries.We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market.This has been going on for a long time, I’m just no longer a punk and won’t allow anyone to bully me. Always know there is something deeper and some things I know that no one else does.” To truly understand the rift between Brandy and Monica is to look at their long-standing musical rivalry with greater context.Like I said before I will choose my battles wisely but there are some I must fight! For one, women in music, whether it’s R&B or hip-hop, have always been pitted against each other.Many have succumbed to the temptation of buying into the narratives often dramatized by fans and low-brow “journalism.” We’ve seen it time and time again, from Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown to Mariah Carey and J.Lo, and yet “petty” was hardly used to describe the aforementioned women during their times of public shading.