Foxy Brown

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For the blaxploitation film, see Foxy Brown (film).
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Foxy Brown on the cover of her controversial album Ill Na Na

Foxy Brown (born Inga Marchand, September 6, 1979, Brooklyn, New York City) is an American rapper of mixed black and Filipino descent known for her solo work as well as numerous collaborations and a brief stint as part of hip-hop super-group The Firm.

A 16-year-old Brown first appeared as the "featured" guest on the singles "I Shot Ya" (LL Cool J), "Touch Me, Tease Me" (Case), "You're Makin' Me High" remix (Toni Braxton), "Ain't No..." (Jay-Z), and "No One Else" (Total), all in 1996. With several hit singles, a bidding war ensued in 1996 and Brown signed to Def Jam. She soon joined The Firm with Cormega, AZ and Nas before releasing her solo 1996 debut, Il Na Na, to mixed reviews but strong sales.

Despite some positive reviews, Ill Na Na was heavily criticized by many for containing lyrics that were more explicit than anything anyone so young (Brown was 16 when the album was produced), especially a girl, had ever recorded before. Fellow raunchy female rapper and Brooklyn native, Lil' Kim, also appeared on the music scene around the same time and the media immediately created a rivalry between Brown and Kim.

In 1997, The Firm released the singles "Phone Tap" featuring Dr. Dre and "Firm Biz" featuring Dawn Robinson, who had recently left En Vogue to form Lucy Pearl with former Tony! Toni! Tone! member, Rapael Saadiq.

The Firm having disbanded due to lackluster sales, Brown proceeded to focus on her own album; that same year, Ill Na Na spawned the hit singles, "I'll Be" (featuring Jay-Z) and "Get Me Home" (featuring Blackstreet). Later that year, Brown and Dru Hill released a single off of the Def Jam's How to Be a Player soundtrack, "Big Bad Mama".

Brown's next two albums sold respectably, but progressively less. 1999's Chyna Doll which made chart history when it became the first album by a female rap artist to enter the Billboard 200 Album chart at #1, and it produced the hit single and sexy music video "Hot Spot". Her most recent album, Broken Silence (2001), is best remembered for its third single, "Candy", which featured Kelis singing the chorus and was a minor hit at urban radio. The album's first two singles, "Oh Yeah" and "BK Anthem", respectively, weren't even as big commercially as "Candy" or Brown's previous singles, but each was notable in its own right.

"Oh Yeah", which featured Jamaican artist Spragga Benz (Brown would eventually marry him), marked Brown's debut in the reggae/dancehall genre of music. "BK Anthem" was grittier and more underground than any of Brown's singles before or since and gave "props" to her hometown, Brooklyn, and other famous rappers such as Biggie and Jay-Z who also originated from Brooklyn. The song's music video had a similarly urban and home-grown feel, and was made to look like it was cheaply recorded from a home video camcorder.

In 2003, Brown returned to the music scene briefly on a DJ Kay Slay single called "Too Much For Me". In 2004, Brown returned once again with a new single. She is expected to release her first studio album since Broken Silence some time later this year.

Brown has tried to make amends with her rival, Lil' Kim, but has cited that immaturity on Kim's part has prevented the two from setting aside their differences. Brown has claimed that Kim, who is older than Brown, should be the one to take the initiative to act respectfully and make peace.

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