Foxy Brown wants a comeback. After over 13 years of petty legal drama, Inga Marchand says she’s ready to get back to rapping. The question is, can she do it?
Things started out promising for Foxy Brown — at 15 she was dropping verses for Jay-Z’s debut album; by 17 she was a certified platinum artist via her own debut Ill Na Na. She was a lady amongst men, guesting on top hip-hop tracks, and collaborating with heavyweights like Nas, Dr. Dre and Method Man — not to mention Jay-Z. She and Jay would become frequent collaborators, basically growing up in the hip-hop game together, her Bonnie to his Clyde.
But as a testament to the divergent paths that life can take, while Jay-Z’s star continued to rise, Foxy’s got hampered in legal drama and a very bad temper. Assault is her crime of choice, and over the course of nearly a decade, Foxy has come to blows with hotel workers, manicurists, airport security, and a beauty store employee. Add on top of that various probation violations, and Brown found herself booking a full year of jail time in 2007.
But now that her latest legal battle has been settled (a neighbor accused Foxy of mooning her, but then refused to testify, forcing the judge to throw out the case), Foxy feels it’s time to finally return to the music industry. Unfortunately for her, it might be too little, too late.
In a recent interview with the New York Post, Foxy claims that she’s nothing like the hot-tempered diva personality that is portrayed in the media.
“The Foxy character and Inga Marchand are two different people,” she told the paper. “My fiancé calls me Inga. No one around me calls me Foxy. I go to church every Sunday. I go to Bible study every Friday night. I’m saved.”
Fair enough. Not that being saved is mutually exclusive of acting a fool.
The article’s main impetus is to set the record straight on the “real” Foxy Brown, and while I can appreciate Foxy’s pursuit of returning to her profession, it’s apparent there’s a level of obliviousness that doesn’t bode well for her professional future. Never in the article does she admit to having anger issues, instead claiming that Jay-Z said she’s one of “the most misunderstood female celebrities ever.” She shares the Jay-Z-appointed category with Naomi Campbell, whom Foxy says Jay introduced her to in 2005 and they’ve been “like sisters” ever since. Which explains a lot.
Foxy also feels as if she was racially profiled for her crimes, and subsequent jail time.
“If Lindsay Lohan was black, she would have done two years, at least. Is there no equal standard?”
She might have a point, but after ten years of legal troubles, did she not anticipate her own court drama coming to a head? Even in jail she caused trouble, and ended up serving 76 days of solitary confinement for a physical confrontation with another prisoner. Despite this, Foxy is suing New York City for $100,000 for civil-rights violations, false arrest and intentional infliction of emotional distress. I supposed if there’s anything she’s learned in all this is the power of litigation.
The past 6 years has seen Foxy bogged down by legal trouble after legal trouble, and even a traumatic hearing loss, issues that dominated any and all publicity that the hip hop artist received. And yet she still believes that it doesn’t define her — as she told The Post, “people still care about my brand. I’ve never whored myself out.”
Unfortunately for Foxy, her musical reputation has been eclipsed by her personal reputation. More people have heard about her drama than her musical talents as of recent, so I’d have to say her brand has been perilously hurt by her legal woes.
To add insult to injury, Foxy also claims she is still considering a $2 million from Hugh Hefner to pose for the cover of Playboy — an offer that not only sounds a bit off (She’s on Hugh Hefner’s radar? Really?), but it kind of gives an ironic ring to the whole “not whoring” herself out statement.
Even if Foxy overcomes her reputation to log some legit studio time, getting behind the mic may be intimidating for the aging rapper. Nineties hip hop counterpart Lil’ Kim hasn’t handled it well, launching attacks after Nicki Minaj that paint the rapper as petty and jealous. It’s hard to find your place in an industry that values youth and novelty, and it’s a very different industry from the 1996 platinum era that Foxy once experienced.
But if history holds up, the biggest obstacle to success is Foxy herself — assaulting every petty argument is no way to stay out of jail. And being in and out of court is no way to convince a label to invest millions in an album. If Foxy Brown wants a comeback, she’s going to have to genuinely check her ego and temper to even get a shot at making it back on the charts.