Lessons learnt from the Hot Girls Podcast
1. Seize every opportunity, no matter how small
Foxy Brown entered a local talent competition in 1994, aged 15 or 16 and she won. As a result, she was then invited to freestyle on stage at an event. There were some hip-hop producers in the crowd at that event, who went by the name of Trackmasters, and they were working on LL Cool J’s new album. They were excited by Foxy and invited her to come down to their studio. A local opportunity had catapulted her career. Although an opportunity may seem small, or insignificant you never know how it will pan out.
2. Experiment with your passion
Foxy released 4 albums by the age of 22. Her earlier albums and aesthetic was, much like Lil Kim’s, and considered very raunchy, sexy and provocative. By her fourth album “Broken Silence” her sound had evolved into being a bit less sex and a bit more swag. Often when artists launch it can help people to have a simple and exaggerated identity of you so you become recognisable and easy to read. It’s almost easier for people if you are one dimensional, and then at some point, you evolve from that. Once Foxy was comfortable in her success she began showing different sides of her artistry. From incorporating Dancehall into her music she has inspired a few current artists. In her single “Oh Yeah” she rapped over a Dancehall, Jamaican riddim which you can hear in some Nicki Minaj and Stefflon Don singles which is a testament to Foxy Brown’s legacy. So don’t be afraid to step out of your perceived lane and go for whichever lane you like.
3. Only take on as much as you can handle
After being so successful at the start of her career, from chart success to influence. Foxy Brown, went from consistently releasing music, to having a fallout with label president, Diddy, which led to the shelving of her album titled Ill Na Na 2: The Fever in 2003. Jay-Z convinced her to return to Def Jam. She began working on her next album Black Roses with Trackmasters, The Neptunes, Timbaland and Kanye West.it was expected to be a phenomenal album. Foxy Brown had previously been open about her battle with depression and an opiates addiction which she went to rehab for. In 2005, she lost her aunt. Soon after she told Jay-Z that she had woken up deaf. All these, significant events in Foxy’s life made this a very tough period. Handling her catapult to fame at a young age to dealing with loss was very difficult for her to handle. Throughout your life, it’s important to take breathers to fully absorb what is happening, and have the right support by your side. Your health whether physical or mental is imperative and should always come first. So always ensure that you take care of yourself first
4. Anger is all-consuming
In 2004, she was arrested for attacking two manicurists at a nail salon. She was arrested again for assault charges after throwing her phone at her neighbour’s face in 2007 in an argument. The same year, 2007, she’d also been arrested for reportedly throwing a glue gun at someone in a hair salon. Her inability to control her anger greatly hindered her musical career. Handling your emotions can be tough for people to handle, especially in Foxy’s case as she was thrust into an adult industry when she was still only a teen. Being reflective, and finding out what is leading to a particular emotion and finding a healthier way to channel these emotions is very important. Sometimes, you may even have to step back from what you love to focus on yourself.
5. Listen to those who come before you and share with those who will come after
Foxy was so young when she arrived on the scene and she was quite naive to the industry. She wasn’t prepared for it or clear about what to take seriously and what not to. The entertainment industry is a space that glamourises being successful young and can leave people falsely feeling as if they have peaked at 25. Even though Foxy has a sad and tough history within the music industry if you look at her socials now, she is very active in bigging up some of the new figures in rap. Foxy is committed to shouting and celebrating other women. She’s a big fan of Dreezy, Malibu Mitch, City Girls and many women other who create ratchet rap and do not get the marketing spend their male counterparts receive. Nicki Minaj calls Foxy Brown out as an artist that she fell in love with growing up. An artist that then shaped her ambitions and perceptions about what and who she wanted to be as an artist herself. In any industry you can learn from the mistakes and successes of your predecessors and if given the opportunity share any wisdom with the people who will come after you. When we look back at Foxy Brown who came up at the same time as Jay-z and how he has now turned into a massive music mogul. It highlights how we need women to push into these areas too, this will enable women to gain control of their own music and set the agenda.