“I Rap Like a Poet” – An Interview with Brionne

Hip-hop has never had a stronger roster of women on the scene. The days of Nicki Minaj vs Iggy Azalea or Nicki vs Cardi B have finally ended in totality. We have a plethora of women rappers to listen to: Megan thee Stallion, Kash Doll, Rico Nasty, Flo Milli, Rapsody, NoName, and even two names who made the 2020 XXL freshman list: Mulatto and Chika. Sadly, that doesn’t stop the misogyny and double-standards that exist within the space, but their talent is undeniable.

Joining them is a woman from Dallas, Texas that doesn’t give a damn about what a critic has to say. Brionne is one of the many underground artists from the fast-paced city to make a name for herself. The story of how she got into music is a little different; originally she was only trying to make catchy jingles for a clothing line she wanted to start. Eventually, through the love of music and poetry, rapping became a serious passion that she wanted to pursue. 

While poetry portrays an outpouring of emotions, Brionne’s raps show a different type of energy. The confidence oozes out with each bar, with a southern raspiness to ensure that she means business. She started with remixes on SoundCloud of legendary tracks like Tupac’s “Hit Em Up”, Three 6 Mafia’s “Who Run It” and Nicki Minaj’s “Chun Li”. After dubbing them “BriMixes” and proving her worth as a lyricist, it was off to the races for her music career. 

She dropped her debut project, 23 The EP, in 2019. It included one her biggest hits “Tropics”, a smooth tropical production that gives Brionne the opportunity to flow effortlessly like she was laid up in a villa. From there, the track got notoriety from Dallas natives Sleazy Ea$e, and Pat Ron who jumped on the “Tropics BriMix”. It even got a chopped & screwed version thanks to another native from the Big D, House of Raps.

Her newest project released in June of 2020, Playa Shit Only, only amplifies that rebellious attitude. Brionne comes in with more power on songs like “Keep It On Me”, where you can hear the hunger in her voice. The conviction in her voice is clear throughout the track “Gospel”, claiming this is ‘the bible that has m********s singing’. She deems the city hers, even if everyone just doesn’t want to admit it. On “Out the Way”, Brionne flows angrily over the beat, sick and tired of the doubt that comes her way. 

Even with all of that hunger to prove her worth in the game, Brionne still breaks down and has a moment on “Palisade Drive Intro”. The desperation of wanting people to understand the greatness in her music and questioning her purpose is evident. It is a testament to her gratitude to be working in music as well as her drive for more. I sat down with Brionne to talk about the city of Dallas, her new EP, and what’s in store for this year. 


BV: So one of my favorite things I found out about you was how you started rapping. Explain that story a little bit.

B: I was doing clothes, and I wanted to make catchy jingles. So I just started rapping and it didn’t even have anything to do with the clothes. I started rapping over old-school beats and then I linked up with someone to make my own songs so after that it was a wrap. 

BV: Yeah and you were into writing before that. You were doing poetry in college.

B: Yeah! I started in middle school and then I did it in high school and also in a talent show in college. I really enjoy poetry. I haven’t shown it yet to everybody else but yeah that’s my first love for sure. 

BV: Yeah I don’t know much about poetry, most of the time I slept through that in school. But it’s pretty cool to hear other people really love it. What was it that really interested you in poetry?

B: Um, in middle school I used to watch poetry events because I used to be into singers like James Cooper. He would go to these and sing there and I got into so many poets being there. I just fell in love. As a kid, you think you have the worst life growing up so I used that stuff in my poetry to express my emotions in a more sensitive way. In my rap, I’m not very sensitive so it’s nice to express how I truly feel. 

BV: That’s what I was going to ask too, is writing poetry and raps totally different for you?

B: Yeah it’s a lot harder. Rapping, you just got to rhyme, like if you put a metaphor and a metaphor together they will be like “Damn that’s hard.” But poetry isn’t about rhyming or anything like that. It’s the emotion you can compel in your words because it’s a lot harder and it’s about theatre too. I would say rap and poetry are intertwined, it isn’t a separate thing. But I’m very glad I know both because it gives me a different cadence because I rap like a poet. 

BV: So you’re from Dallas, Texas; how would you describe the rap scene out there to someone like me who has never left the east coast?

B: Dallas is fun. We were just talking to someone who moved to Dallas because they feel like it’s about to blow up. I mean we have been here forever so it doesn’t seem fast-paced for me because we used to throw parties and we know the scene a little bit. As far as the underground scene, that hoe is jumpin’. I say we would be on the way. 

BV: Word, word. I would say you have a southern sound to you in rap. Who were you listening to in rap or any genre in general?

B: That’s crazy. So hip-hop isn’t my main genre I listen to when it comes to music. I listen to a lot of R&B. Like growing up I was in a phase of listening to Paramore and Fall Out Boys, it wasn’t a lot of rap. I was obsessed with Lady Gaga, my first concert was Chris Brown. So I was all over the place when it comes to music. 

BV: That’s crazy, I don’t think I ever went through a phase of listening to Paramore.

B: They are legends! 

BV: I believe it, I don’t know why I never got into that craze. Probably because the fans of them at my school ruined it for me.

B: Yeah the Stans ruin everything sometimes.

BV: So your first project was the 23 The EP. Going into that what were your expectations with everything surrounding it. 

B: I was kinda nervous because it was my freshman tape. So I would say it was to make a stamp on my name in the game, so it was nerve-wracking. I wasn’t expecting the feedback we got. We threw a listening party and had like 70 people there, which was a lot in the backyard. We got a lot of love from the tape, I cried on the porch. I am such a crybaby, I was just so happy that people were fucking with it. Because I didn’t think people were going to like it like that and I told myself I was underestimating myself. 

BV: When you officially dropped it, what were the reactions like from Dallas and your fanbase?

B: So here is the thing about Dallas, when they hear a song from you they think they know you. So there’s going to be people who fuck with the Dallas underground scene and then there is going to be people who act like they know me. That’s why I want to get out and travel, I never want to limit myself to just conquering Dallas, that’s not my goal. That’s a tiny piece to a big puzzle. 

BV: So you aren’t someone who prides themselves on getting love from the city in a way?

B: At first I was, being a girl in rap people be hating on me and that’s fine. It’s not that I don’t love my city. I’ll still rep it but it’s just time for me to go. I’ll always love Dallas when I’m out here, but when I’m in the city I’d be like “fuck y’all.” 

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