(December 2002) | Interview By:
Dubcnn.com got the opportunity to
speak with one of Dr. Dre's latest protégé's and Aftermath Entertainment
artist Brooklyn. She spoke to us about her past, what we can expect from her
debut album, her stance on the labels present "beefs" and her plans for the
future! We have both the transcript and some audio for you to check and please
feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to
Huge thanks to Interscope Records for arranging the interview time with
Brooklyn and of course Brooklyn herself for agreeing to take part and give up
some of her time to answer the questions you, the fans, wanted to know!
(Interview was done by phone on the 11th December 2002)
Questions Asked By : Rud
Brooklyn Gave Her Fans A Shoutout :
Rud : Where are you from and what was
it like growing up?
Brooklyn : Ok, um...im from Brooklyn, New York. I was born in Kings County
Hospital that's in East New York and um...growing up *laughs* growing up was
like a mission. I never really had a childhood, I left home very early , I
left home when I was 14 and was homeless for a little while. Me and my moms
and everything and it was real hard and then when I turned 15 I just started,
I was in the streets, I was hustling and I was doing what I had to do for
myself and so I dwelled on music and used music as a support system
Rud : Which artists have influenced you?
Brooklyn : Ohh, the Fugees...I would say Lil kim, I like her - when I was
Junior High she was the bomb *laughs* and uh...Jay Z, his first album
"Reasonable Doubt" that song "Cant Knock The Hustle" that was like my main
influence to go ahead and do this music thing and do what I had to do survive
and you know to make moves instead of sitting around.
Rud : Your currently signed to Dr. Dre's, Aftermath Records, how did that come
Brooklyn : Well, I have a friend Chris Boogie who works with Pharoahe Monch &
Talib Kweli. He happened to bump into Mike Lyn, head of black music at
Interscope and um - he got in touch with my management and we sent him a demo
with like 3 songs and they flew us out to California two days later and signed
me - there was no long wait! *laughs*
Rud : What do you feel sets you aside from other female artists?
Brooklyn : It's the fact that I can get on a record and I can battle a rapper
and rap like im on some street - this is where im from type rap...like a
female Jay Z - to like when I sing its R&B, its acoustic, its neo-soul, its
rock - its everything mixed into one and that's what differs me from every
other female out there. The music is different, most of the producers on my
album are most of my homeboys from home that have worked with me from when I
was 14/15 rapping in basement studios so everything is fresh and new, its a
new style, a new trademark - that's what makes me different from those others.
Rud : Many people have heard you on the Aftermath Sampler that came with some
versions of the 8 Mile Soundtrack on a track called "The Weekend" How did that
come about and who produced it?
Brooklyn : Ok, um, Kalil, DJ Kalil - he's from Fresno, California - he
produced that track and I wrote that song...I mean its called "The Weekend"
and everything and im talking about living it up, enjoying life with no
regrets and holding on no matter how hard it gets and what made me wanna write
that song was thinking of Aaliyah and Left Eye, Lisa Lopez and I was like -
its so sad - to see how the world is and people are dying left and right and I
was like you know, September 11th happened and everybody was just so down so I
wanted to make a song that's like "You know what, you can die tomorrow but you
can enjoy your last day here" and that's what the track is really about -
getting on and doing what you have to do, enjoying life and not dwelling on
sadness and sorrow.
Rud : Where do you stand on the beefs that surround other artists on the label
such as 50 Cent & Ja Rule, Eminem & Benzino, Dre & JD etc?
Brooklyn : For now...im neutral, like in the whole situation. I saw Irv Gotti
while he was in California and he froze when he saw me, like he literally
froze when they told him I was Aftermath artist Brooklyn and all of that and
he watched me walk through the mall just to make sure I wasn't trying to do
anything to him! It's like all of that is nonsense, to hear people scream out
"Murda" when you've never shot anybody, killed anybody and your making threats
over records or your on the radio discouraging people cause they are trying to
make money...everybody wants to make money and I really...and for now im
neutral in the situation. I know its gonna come about when the album drops the
people will be like "oh the female Aftermath artist is gonna say something
about a female on Murder Inc" and its gonna be something big...but in the
meantime im neutral.
Rud : Is 50 Cent the next release on Aftermath/Shady Records and are you set
to be on that?
Brooklyn : Yes its coming out in February, and I have a song with 50 Cent
called "In The Hood" *laughs* and I mean its getting played like crazy right
now so they might end up going ahead and shooting a video for it, its
definitely a nice song and it was a privilege for me to work with him [50
Cent] as an artist cause I think he's really talented and he's the next big
thing in hip hop and he deserves everything he has.
Rud : Other than your solo album what are you working on at present?
Brooklyn : Well my own album will be dropping in the first quarter of 2003. I
know that Dre is planning on dropping his next album in the summer of 2003 and
they have a few other artists, they have Joe Beast, who should be coming out
later in the year.
Rud : So 2003 is set to be a big year for Aftermath & Shady Records with Dre
wanting to get all these out?
Brooklyn : Yea he's definitely working on his new album - there's alotta
rumours going around but he is NOT procrastinating he's working on it...we
have a lot on the roster for Aftermath in 2003. He's working with each artist
Rud : Have you been busy working on your new album?
Brooklyn : Yea, um...I have the D-12 track "Fight Music" on my album and I
sung on it and it's called "Brooklyn" cause im talking about Brooklyn, im
talking about how I represent my home - where im from and describing it...over
the "Fight Music" beat and um...that should be on mixtapes soon, if its not
dropped already, but that will be out soon so look out for that! He [Dre]
produced that and he produced the track with me & 50 Cent on it. Pretty much
coming into California and going into the studio I had a line of DJ's and my
producers that I have worked with over the years and I took them along with me
for the ride when we did the album and everything. I had like 5 songs on my
demo that I did when I was like 16/17 so I went back and got the same
producers and he allowed me to have complete creative control over everything.
So my album...I sat down, listened to the tracks, I wrote while in the studio
and then did them back to back. Every song on the album is about an experience
that I have had.
Rud : So is the album complete?
Brooklyn : Its pretty much wrapped up, the album is called "Name & Address -
Brooklyn" and it's due to come out late March...mid to late March.
Rud : What guest appearances can we expect, if any?
Brooklyn : I have the "Golden State Warriors" on my album and I didn't want to
go further putting anyone else on there cause I wanted to hold my own weight,
this is my first album and I didn't wanna just throw a whole bunch of artists
on there and say "Ok this is Brooklyn" I didn't want to use anybody to sell me
or sell my songs, so I took what I had and used my creativity and wrote the
songs on my album and it came out real good.
Rud : What producers will be on the album?
Brooklyn : Well, you can expect...my homeboys from the hood, I have Focus, he
produced some tracks. Of course I have DJ Kalil who produced "Weekend" um I
have (Rule-a-devine?) a close friend and producer from Queens. I have another
producer named Yante, he's from Jersey
Rud : So no in-house Aftermath Production?
Brooklyn : Yea...I think Focus is the only one that Aftermath really brought
along *laughs* I also have DJ Scratch - he's Busta Rhymes DJ - he produced a
track for me and I mean...it is off the charts, its like NOTHING you've ever
Rud : Is that set to be the first single?
Brooklyn : Dre wants that to be the first single, its called "I Still Stay"
and I mean it has the drums in the background so its kinda taking it back to
the roots but at the same time I was singing on it and I rhymed on it and it
just came out beautiful and I love it.
Rud : Where do you see your music being categorised?
Brooklyn : I definitely will be *laughs* neutral as far as music is
concerned...if you were to put me in a category with Eve, Lil Kim and all
those other female artists, its like a burnout - there's no comparison. You
cant compare the music, its like something hotter, something different,
something new - its not the same old "I wanna rock this" or "Im gonna do this"
you know? Its musical! Its the only way I can describe it, anybody who has
ever listened to my album - whether artists, executives, the streets - they
cant categorise it...very unique!
Rud : Are there any plans for a Pre or Post release tour?
Brooklyn : Well, were beginning to put together a promo tour to kick off the
year with, and im definitely looking forward to going overseas - so the promo
tour will begin soon *laughs* everyone will know by the time it starts!
Rud : What's the line up on Aftermath at the moment?
Brooklyn : Oh its like...its a whole lineup of talent and were all under the
age of 21 - besides 50 [Cent] *laughs* there's like 4 more artists that are on
the roster for this year, all under 21, we write our own songs....hold on a
*HELICOPTER FLIES OVERHEAD!*
Excuse me, this is LA! *laughs* Everyone works on their own stuff as
individuals, its like having 5 different elements and im the 5th element cause
I bring everything to the table. 50 [Cent] brings the fire to the table, Joe
Beast brings the Earth, Game brings the water...ya know - its a beautiful
Rud : Who are all these "5 Elements?"
Brooklyn : Ok, there's Joe Beast, he's just turned 20 and he raps and he's
from Pittsburg. They have an artist called The Game, he's 19 and from Compton.
They have a new artist named Antonio, he's 19 and is from New York and they
have the female rapper named Shaunta, she's from Compton. And they have a
singer...her name is Amy and I believe she's from Philadelphia...but don't
Rud : What are your goals for 2003?
Brooklyn : I mean, my whole goal right now is to drop the album and im also
working on a movie script - which is based on my life but I didn't necessarily
want to make it about me. So that's my goals for 2003, I will be submitting it
[the script] in the summertime - it'll be a film for everyone, its not just an
urban film, its for everybody. Everything I do is universal - it's not just
for one category.
Rud : Any words to your fans?
Brooklyn : Oh My God! Um, I mean - I would just say thanks for the support,
lookout for the album, check me out on the "Weekend" sampler - it's for the
fans, for everybody that went through any type of situation, relationships,
money, stress, death - anything - its for everybody! (Audio)
Rud : Best of luck in the new year with the album and I hope we can catch up
again next year to see how things have gone!
Brooklyn : Ok, thank you so much Rud.
Brooklyn Gave Her Fans A Shoutout :