Each week Cyrus Kyle Langhorne weighs-in on hot button topics with his sharp commentary. This week’s subject: Brandy.
You know what really makes me laugh? (laugh) Seriously, the times I read Brandy's Twitter posts or statements she has made for the media in defense of her brother, Ray-Ray a.k.a. Ray J. It seems time and time again she comes to his defense in the best of times, however, I cannot help but see through the witty little remarks: "...my brother has always strived" blah blah blah and see her play Sarah Michelle Gellar to his Ryan Phillippe on some Cruel Intentions tip, minus inbreed sexual relations, of course... although... kidding, kidding.
Let's first start with how things became as such. Seems like it was just yesterday when Moesha had the whole world going crazy and people nearly starved themselves for Brandy's nipple slip in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, in addition to turning out hits like "The Boy Is Mine" or even having Whitney Houston as your fairy tale godmother (right?) as they went the whole nine yards in a modern '90's Cinderella re-make.
Of course, much like when the clock struck 12 and Whitney put down glass slipper tales for a glass errr... nevermind. Long story short, the success seemed to go out pretty fast. Enter the 2000's. While Ray J had the mere hype he has today based off a hot record "Wait A Minute" he did with Lil Kim, he was almost at a critical changing point. It seemed as if Brandy was slowly turning downward as Ray-Ray was moving upward. Shucks, if you do not believe me, just get your Wikipedia on. The reports do not lie. From getting pregnant by Robert "Big Bert" Smith to having a 15-month engagement to basketball player Quentin Richardson (where she actually got a tattoo of him on her back and then covered it with a cat) before calling it quits, she has taken more L's than the New Jersey Nets this past season. Granted, I will give her credit, the amount of albums she has sold is dumb, silly, huge and what her accomplishments this far in her life signify is nothing less than extraordinary. However, with relevancy being the key aspect right now, let's just say her notorious 2006 fatal car crash did not prove the believe that all news is good news, along with being featured with a cameo in G-Unit's "Stunt 101" music video back in 2003.
Now here comes Ray-Ray. If you would have asked me what I thought about this guy through 2006/2007, I would have likely responded, "Who? Brandy's brother?" Let's be honest, his profile was so low you could possibly mix him up with a Lil' Zane or even some distant relative of New Edition, but then, the biggest thing to happen to Ray J, well, happened—the Kim Kardashian sex tape. Now it takes a lot out of me to say this, but Ray J DID HIS THING in the video. He did his thing so much that not only did condom campaigns spring up out the woodwork, but so did his profile. I will spare all the gritty reasons for why Ray earned both mine and the entire male population's respect based off the tape (Just YouTube Search 'Beat The Kitty Up'). Man oh man the "performance" in the sex tape made me literally say, "THAT'S MY DUDE...." Let me say, the tape officially turned Brandy into "Ray J's sister."
Now to say the tape merely made up Ray's career is so much of an understatement that I could not even respect myself to leave this posting as it is. Following its
leak retail release, it was merged with some dope collaborations ("Sexy, Can I"), along with co-signs from rap artists like Game and Styles P. But the thing which really has caught my eye is the acceptance of Ray-Ray in mainstream television—For the Love of Ray J.
Eh, say what you will about reality television but when Ray can make a contestant like Danger a renowned celebrity, you gotta give him credit. His profile has definitely gone up quite a few notches, which leads me back to the essence of this posting—Brandy. While she battled legal matters like the car crash settlement and struggled to get her shine on-and-poppin' again, it seemed as if Ray-Ray's was in full-fledged force.
Now will Ray ever sell as many records or achieve the amount of positive, dope fame Brandy received in the 1990's? No, not by a long, long, long shot. But as far as relevance in today's climate? Eh, I have stressed this many and many times before that sex sells. Sure, Ray will likely be more so known for his sexual ties with the For the Love of Ray J girls and his own past relationship with Kim Kardashian. But seeing him on television shows and being interviewed with Wendy Williams as Brandy sits beside her mother and other family members is something most comparable to a has-been. Ehh, it's not poppin'.
Look, let's keep it real, MC Hammer had the game on lock in the early 1990's, and while I feel it is very disrespectful to place Brandy's career anywhere close to Mr. "Can't Touch This," I still like the idea of how relevancy and fame can both be objects of the past as time progresses, and to me, Brandy's ship has sailed further down than Oceanic 815 but it does not mean she is down and out for the count.
At the end of the day, I truly believe Brandy is going to just be known as Ray J's brother. The hype, fame and overall image of Ray is so dominating not only on gossip sites but just in music as a whole. He has more appeal and the recent drama, well, let's be honest, the past ten years of drama surrounding Brandy's life has pretty much placed an axe through her popularity. Time could prove me wrong, for sure, but at this rate, unless Brandy drops a leaked sex tape with Danger, I really cannot see her edging out Ray-Ray's fame.