Miami rapper Brianna Perry is one of those show-stopping femcees who steal the spotlight with nothing more than her presence.
Referring to herself as a YRB "Young Rich Bandit," Brianna may be a newcomer to many people's iPods, but she's a veteran in the game.
Getting her first taste of the fame when she appeared on rapper Trina's Diamond Princess at the tender age of nine years old, Brianna's been on the road to musical success ever since - but not without setting time aside for her education.
The Carol City rapper is currently a student at the University Of Miami, and juggles life as a student and her bubbling rap career.
Brianna released her mixtape Face Off, and now she's readying her forthcoming mixtape Symphony No. 9.
GlobalGrind caught up with Brianna to chit-chat about other female rappers in the game, her new project Symphony No. 9, and of course, a future collaboration with Rick Ross.
Check out our exclusive interview below!
You come at a time where a lot of female rappers are buzzing, what makes you different from other female rappers?
I think as women we’re all individuals and we come from different walks of life. With me, I’m just telling my story. I’ve been doing this for such a long time, coming in the game at age 9, being on Trina’s album Diamond Princess, and being signed to Missy Elliot all before age 12 has made it a different situation for me as far as being really passionate and being really hungry.
I think people get to hear that in my music, and when they see me perform they see that hunger and that passion. I think that makes me standout, but I’m just the average girl from Carol City going to the University of Miami. I’m still in school. I think that’s my whole appeal. Many people are able to relate to me.
How do you balance school and a music career?
It is hectic. When I go to the label I tell them I’m missing tests, I’m missing quizzes and everything, but my professors for the most part - try to work with me.
How did you initially link up with Trina? You were on her Diamond Princess at such a young age.
We’re both Miami natives, and Trina’s such a sweetheart. I love her to death. Our relationship goes deeper than music. Po Boy Music Group is an indie label based out of Miami. The CEO and everybody who runs the company is like my family, pretty much like blood. After school when I was younger, I would get picked up from school and that would be my hang out spot.
I’ve seen artists like Rick Ross in the studio. People like Trick Daddy would come through, and Trina would even come through in the studio. They finally let me in the booth when I was seven years old. We actually still have the music. The music is so funny!
Trina, she's seen me around, and she has a record “Candy Girl” that we did. It was just so appropriate. We did New Edition’s “Candy Girl," and we just kind of hit it off from there.
Can we expect a Brianna/Rick Ross collaboration any time soon?
You know what?! Yeah! I let the cat out the bag out with that one. Shout out to the whole Maybach Music Group! Wale was on the official “Marilyn Monroe” remix. We just recently performed together in Miami, and I came out for the “Marilyn Monroe” remix. We shut it down at the Marley Fest. It was incredible, and they’re just doing their thing right now, so that Carol City collaboration is coming soon.
Who are you listening to right now? What's playing on your iPod?
I have a wide range. Actually my whole vibe right now is kind of R&B-ish, but the latest albums I just purchased would be Diggy’s album and Melanie Fiona. I’ve just been listening to Bey of course! I listen to a lot of Jay-Z. I’m a big Drake fan as well, Wayne.
I have some Chico DeBarge and Barry White. I been on my Usher! This whole week really has been beats though. I haven’t been listening to outside music. I’ve just been listening to beats, but my range is crazy! I like Taylor Swift. I’m a Kanye fan. It’s just all over the place.
I’ve been in the studio working on my next mixtape to come up, Symphony No. 9. I’m real excited for the fans to hear that, and to see the visuals that we have coming with that.
You mentioned Symphony No. 9, what can we expect from that project?
I think it’s going to be a special project for me. You know Beethoven — classical music — For the ninth symphony he went deaf, completely deaf. He couldn’t hear anything that was going on. He had tons of applause for his work that he had done, but he couldn’t hear it. For my next mixtape, I just wanted to go deaf to the game, and just come with my own sound, and just block out anything people say I should be like, or what they expect from me, what they want to hear from me. I just blocked out everybody…Went in the studio, came with my own sound and gave a leap with Symphony No. 9.
You and Meek Mill are probably the best freestylers in the game.
Shout out Philly! I was filming a feature film there with Charles Dutton. I was in Philly a couple of months ago, so big ups to Meek Mill, Young Chris, DJ Damage down in Philly. But yeah, Meek bodies the freestyles.
Music has been such a part of your life since a young kid, who are your inspirations?
I was a big Eve fan. I could still listen to Eve’s music right now. How she approached the mic, her whole swag, and her whole demeanor was phenomenal. I've always been a major Beyoncé fan, and I've been a Jay-Z fan forever, for as long as I could remember. Also, Missy Elliot! She’s so talented, and she was so creative. Artists that I’ve been around on a day-to-day basis like Rick Ross have been a big inspiration too. Just seeing him grind, seeing him come from where I came from. Trina with her dedication — just staying relevant in the game for so many years — her poise, how to always remain humble.
If you could change one thing about the rap game, what would you change?
Just the negativity, but rap to me is like sports. Music is like sports. It’s very competitive, but as far as the beef that goes beyond music, sometimes…Music is so impressionable on everyone — adults, even kids — sometimes the musical content is misconstrued, and younger kids sometimes — I have a little brother who’s 12 years old — they feel like the videos are everyday life. People’s perception of the music, sometime they don’t how to leave it just as music. If I could change that I would.
You also refer to yourself as a "YRB (Young Rich Bandit)." What does a young rich bandit do?
A young rich bandit is someone so special. You just steal the scene, basically you’re just hot! A young rich bandit is cocky, yet balanced. When you come through, you come through like a bandit. You bandit the game. You steal the attention of the room. You steal the shine.
This is a random question, but do you remember your last dream?
My last dream? Actually no I don’t. I tend to not remember my dreams. I think that means I don’t sleep enough. The last time I slept, I slept for 2 ½ or 3 hours. My daydream though is to take over the game.
Photo Credit: John Ricard