Brianna Perry is all grown up. Prior to her freestyles and four mixtapes, most recently, "Face Off" (2011), Perry was featured on Trina's "Kandi," off "Diamond Princess," (2002) when she was nine yrs. old.
"A lot people still have that image of me. Therefore, I'm showing people my maturity and growth. I'm taking off my baby face," Brianna, also known as the Young Rich Bandit (YRB), tells Billboard.com's The Juice about "Face Off."
Brianna is a fresh face to the female rap scene; refining the Miami hip-hop/dance sound. We aren't the only one that has noticed. The femcee has notable co-signs by the likes of Rick Ross, Trina, Trick Daddy, Pharrell Williams and more.
"You know, you have Nicki Minaj who's doing her thing, but when you look at that plateau, you don't see many females," Brianna said.
Recently signed to Atlantic Records, in association with Poe Boy Music Group, Brianna sat down with The Juice to discuss her upcoming album, Trina's advice and the female rap scene.
The Juice: Where did your nickname "The Young Rich Bandit (YRB)" come from?
I came up with it a long time ago when I was just having fun. I was trying to make a name for myself. Young Rich Bandit simply means someone who steals the show, who's fly, who's a shining star that captures everyone's attention.
What made you pursue music?
I feel like I was birthed in the studio. Poe Boy Music is where my family was. My uncles put in work there and it would be my hang out spot after school when I was supposed to be doing homework. I would just be a little sponge and try to mimic them, trying to come up with rhyming words. At seven yrs. old, they finally let me in the booth because they were tired of me bugging them. Trick and Trina, also from Miami, would come through to see what was going on in the studio. That's when, at nine yrs. old, I got on Trina's "Diamond Princess."
From there, she took me to "Rap City: Tha Basement" where I made 'Best of the Booth.' That was a big deal for me.
With both of us being from Miami and affiliated with Slip-n-Slide Records and Poe Boy, Trina just took to me at such a young age. To be on her album at just nine yrs. old was incredible. From there we've kept a good working relationship that wasn't only just about music. She's a sweetheart and gives me advice on music, being a female in the game, and life period.
Then, Missy Elliott heard about me through Trina and signed me to her label [The Goldmind Inc.]. I [was] signed to her for three years. Being signed to a music icon, as her, was an incredible experience.
I was signed to Missy for a good period of time. I was extremely young at the time. Just after the three year mark, we decided to no longer do that kind of business together but we still have a really great relationship. I'm actually about to be in the studio with her soon. [ Editor's Note: Brianna and Missy are in the studio for Brianna's upcoming album.]
I just signed to Atlantic last year, so I've been at it for a very long time.
Tell us about your "Face Off" mixtape. How did your collaboration with Wale come to be?
A lot of times people still associate me to Trina's "Kandi," even now. They think of that same little nine-year-old girl rapping about candy. "Face Off" is a project where I am showing people my maturity and my growth. I was taking off my baby face.
Rick Ross put together my first mixtape, "Candy Girl." Wale, through the Rick Ross connection, actually contacted me about getting featured [on "Face Off."] He loved the record, so I was honored.
Can we expect a Rick Ross collaboration in the future?
Yes, of course. I see that in the near future.
You once shared the stage with Lil Wayne. What was that like?
It was a show back in Miami and happened through Trina. I guess it's out there that him and Trina used to date. Briscoe, who's also my blood cousin, signed with Cash Money Records as well so we linked up at his "In The Hood" video that was shot in Miami.
What kinds of projects are you currently working on?
I was just out in LA for a week straight working on my [debut] album. But to keep the fans satisfied and wanting more, I'm definitely going to keep releasing music. There will be more mixtapes and more videos to come [before hand]. I'm going to keep feeding the streets until the album is ready.
I'm making sure that I take my time with the debut album because I don't want to disappoint the fans. I want to give them the best.
Who have you been with in the studio recenlty?
I've had the blessing of being in the studio with Rico Love. He's someone who's super talented, a musical genius. To see how he works has been indescribable. He's number one and I've picked up things from him. I've been working with Pharrell and Lamb, who produced "Marilyn Monroe." He's phenomenal! He produced Beyoncé's "Countdown," a ton of Monica's singles. He's also worked with Jazmine Sullivan and Missy too.
We [Lamb and I] are both from Miami and we came into the game working with each other, so I'm in the studio with him a lot, picking up his work ethic.
How do you feel about the female rap scene and your place in it?
I feel like I'm a breath of fresh air. It's needed and there are so few women who are actually standing in the forefront in the world of hip-hop. You know, you have Nicki Minaj who's doing her thing, but when you look at that plateau, you don't see many females. I hope to bring a change to that and I hope to see more female faces doing their thing.
Do you feel like your style or creative process has changed since you've been signed to Atlantic?
Yeah, I feel like now I'm age appropriate. I couldn't really be that nine-year-old with the long braid, short shorts, and heels. I think [my look now] is more appropriate with my age, the times, and current fashion trends. In a couple of months, when I shoot my next video, it could change. I think the fun part about it [is] not staying the same and being able to have fun with different looks, hair colors, and all that.
Tell us more about your other projects, like the film, "Must Be The Music."
Yes! "Must Be The Music," filmed in Philadelphia with Charles Dutton, who many know as "The Roc." It was my first time working on a feature film and he, also in the film, was so fun to work with. He gave me great advice on and off screen.
I play Amanda Jones, a 22 year old head-chick-in-charge. She's very spicy, feisty, and snappy. She's kind of the opposite of myself.
"Must Be The Music is suspenseful." I had fun with it because I found so many similarities between real life and what was going on in the film. It's about a murder, the music business, and it's about my character putting people in check.
I'm learning that I have a passion for acting and hopefully you'll see more of me on camera.