The Underrated: Brandy

By @_Oh_Bee

Brandy has to be one of the most underrated artists to ever grace a stage. I wonder if it’s because she wasn’t over-sexualized. Yes, that makes a difference. Or maybe it’s because she literally grew up before our eyes. Whatever the case may be, I feel she doesn’t get the credit she deserves. Brandy’s done a great job of remaining consistent. Even where there were subtle changes, she never overdid it and it worked for her.

The singer’s self-titled debut album was released in 1994 when she was only 15. Her age-appropriate tracks oozed of teenage love and innocence. She wasn’t over the top with songs like “Baby” and “I Wanna Be Down” that quickly grabbed her peers’ attention. One of my favorite tracks from that album is “Brokenhearted”, a duet with Boys II Men’s Wanya Morris. Drawing comparisons of Janet Jackson and Mary J. Blige, Brandy sold over 6 million copies across the globe.

Brandy started to see success outside of her own album. She appeared on the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack with the hit “Sittin Up in My Room”. The teen also collaborated with Tamia, Chaka Khan, and Gladys Knight for the Set It Off gem, “Missing You”. At this point, she’s basically considered R&B and Pop’s princess.

Brandy got a taste of the acting world with the sitcom “Moesha” and the television special “Cinderella”. However, Brandy didn’t let her new title take her away from her first love. In 1998, she released Never Say Never. If I had to describe that album in a word, it would be “perfect”. She teamed up with Mase for the track “Top of the World”. Her duet with Monica, “The Boy is Mine”, was what really catapulted her as a certified star. Her song “Have You Ever?” allowed us to dive deep in our feelings and cause nostalgia whenever we heard it.

As I stated, Brandy literally grew up before our eyes and her fans were able to relate to her music. I believe that’s a factor that kept her going. In 2002, gave birth to her daughter as well as her third album Full Moon. This album didn’t do as much for me as her first two but the track “He Is” will forever be a favorite of mine. We got to know an adult Brandy dealing with real love and every woman was standing on ready, waiting for the moment to celebrate our beau.

Brandy continued to evolve as a person and artist. Since 2004, she’s released three additional albums: Aphrodisiac, Human, and Two Eleven. I can’t say that I was fully invested in all three projects. She definitely has a few tracks like “Who Is She 2 U” and “Put It Down” that cause me to stop what I’m doing and bask in her greatness. Brandy’s made her mark and is a staple to R&B in my eyes.



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