Don’t call her Brandy no more — call her Your Highness. On Sunday night (June 26), the Vocal Bible took the BET Awards to church by performing her “First Class” freestyle with Jack Harlow. And after leaving the stage, she opened up about how the surprise number came together.
“First of all, I can’t believe what just happened,” the icon told Entertainment Tonight backstage. “I didn’t know the crowd was gonna be excited … Oh my god, they were in it, and just, I’m so thankful to Jack because he gave me this great opportunity to, like, be a rapper. Like, I’ve had a rap dream for years.
“I’ve been wanting to rap forever,” she continued. “And everybody was like [grumbles], ‘Everybody just wants to hear you sing’ or ‘Don’t do rap.’ But I’m like, I love rap. I love hip-hop, I love all of that, so …”
Later in the interview, Brandy spilled the tea on how she managed to pull off the big surprise, explaining, “Jack didn’t really realize that my brother [Ray J] and I were siblings on a radio show … And then from there it, like, caused all this noise. And I didn’t catch the noise until like five days later. But I was like, ‘Oh my god.’ So I sent out a tweet in joking saying, ‘I could take this guy on a rap.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my god that’s hip-hop, I kinda have to back that up.’ So I put out a freestyle and Jack loved it and was like, ‘Let’s do it on the BET Awards.'”
Even before Brandy crafted her rapid-fire freestyle, Harlow’s latest single bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it has spent three non-consecutive weeks trading off the top spot with the likes of Harry Styles’ “As It Was” and Future’s “Wait For U” featuring Drake and Tems.
Watch Brandy’s full interview about her BET Awards performance below.