Most ’90s hip hop fans are familiar with Inga Marchand, the New York-born, Trinidadian rapper who rose to fame rapping beside Jay-Z and as part of NaS’s The Firm crew. After her glory days appearing on tracks like “Ain’t No” and making her own hits like “Gotta Get You Home,” Foxy became somewhat of an enigma. Her fans turned to rumors and news reports to fill in the blanks. There was her much talked-about hearing loss, rumors about her relationship with Jay-Z and animosity toward Beyonce, and more. Foxy Brown recently opened up to Combat Jack to share her side of the story.

Via The YBF:

On growing up insecure about her dark skin

Lauryn [Hill] came in first as the dark skin chick on the scene. And the dark skin she represented was more natural and beautiful. Light skin, long hair…cool. No disrespect to light skin women. But when you see a bad, dark skin chocolate chick, it’s like Wow. I absolutely was not always comfortable in my skin. Lauryn and I used to talk about that all the time. I had the worst insecurity. My mother is very light skin from Trinidad and my brothers are too and I’m the only one in my family who is dark, besides my dad. My mom always tried to make me feel better by saying she wanted to go to the beach to get darker. But I think we all have that..even my nieces who are dark have that innate insecurity. I also always had keen features so…

On physical abuse and not having a father shielding her from the harshness of the business

“Yeah, me and my girlfriends went through the same thing. We thought that was the guy who loved us, the ones who got physical. He’s getting physical so…

But I started to know that was wrong when I did the cover of New York Magazine in 2005. Four of us did it–Beyonce, myself, Star Jones and Teri Woods, the author. Not sure why they pulled us four, but they said we were all at the top of our game. Star and Beyonce had their dads there, Teri and I didn’t. We were asked if it made a difference that even though we’re all here in the same place in our careers, that we didn’t have our dads but Beyonce and STar did. Beyonce was asked if it helped having Mr. Knowles there taking all the shots and covering up your boo boos and saying “Oh it’s OK baby” when you got hurt. And instead of (like Foxy) having to take all the shots herself. And Beyonce said, “Absolutely.” And she said it made her know which men to allow in next to her. The father sets the bar so high, so the dude knows what he has to measure up to be.”

On the completely fabricated story about Foxy supposedly speaking badly about Jay and Beyonce in a book:

“I stood up for him and Bey because I love both of them. That took me back. I was ready to lace my Timbs up and go back to old Inga because it was so disrespectful. The slander. It was disrespectful to me and all of the people who have done things for me. Do you understand I can hear now because of Jay-Z?” [Foxy got emotional and broke down and said she needed to go to a break]

“….People believed something that wasn’t even a story, it never was said. It’s not about immortalizing Jay, it’s about me having a reputation. I’m always coy about my personal life. There was no story, no audio, no interview….just someone maybe in Milwaukee somewhere just made up some story. When a story is saying YOU said someone like transvestites and someone gave you Herpes…when you’re insulting people’s families that’s a different level. Jay-Z is someone who I love and respect dearly and he’s always been nothing but great to me and my family period. Beyonce has been nothing but classy and sweet and loving and respectful to me. Those are my friends. They were disrespected. I was disrespected.

I come from a time of real journalism and now, this new day in age someone can just sit behind a computer and say whatever. Even the tone of the article was so ill-written. The words and grammar used, it’s not even me. My mom is an educator. And anyone who knows me knew immediately I don’t speak like that. And all these little hip hop sites just ran with it…”

Read more from the interview here.

Listen to the full conversation below:

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/95847273″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

What do you think of Foxy Brown’s revealing interview, Clutchettes and Gents?


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  • LadyP

    Foxy Brown is that – Foxy! She is my ex’s crush! He has loved her for years. I also think she is beautiful.

    Until this article, I would have never thought she struggled with colorism. It just goes to show how messed up this issue really is.

    Love her comments in regards to Jay~Z & Bey.

  • RE: My mom always tried to make me feel better by saying she wanted to go to the beach to get darker. But I think we all have that..even my nieces who are dark have that innate insecurity. I also always had keen features so…

    I disagree that insecurities are innate…they are definitely learned!

  • Pepper

    I get so tired of the dark skin/light skin thing. Foxy isn’t dark by any stretch of the imagination. Wesley Snipes is dark. Seal is dark. J Anthony Brown is dark. Gabourey Sidibe is dark. Who cares if someone is dark because there are some very beautiful dark skin people. Just like there are some beautiful light skin people

    • ScriptTease

      Not sure why you received thumbs down, perhaps you named names (examples) about who is dark, and I agree…. As a matter of fact I agree with every single word you said.

  • RenJennM

    I don’t understand some of these comments. Why does it matter if you think she is dark-skinned or not? That’s not the point. The point is she grew up with insecurities because most of her family members were lighter than her. That was her life. Your opinion now didn’t exist then. She’s just reflecting on how she felt THEN.

    Foxy may not be as brown as Alek Wek, but she still believes she’s a darker-skinned woman. The picture above is not her skin tone in real life. She’s darker than that. I’ve seen her in person in Brooklyn. Foxy has beautiful skin, and I believe she’s pretty. I personally consider myself dark-skinned, and I’m about a shade or two lighter than her.

    Besides, I don’t think there is anything wrong with being dark-skinned. I love my skin tone. Some people don’t consider me dark, but I’m definitely not light-skinned and I’m darker than most ‘caramel’ toned people I’m around. So, in my opinion, I’m dark-skinned. With that said, I don’t walk around advertising it, and I definitely don’t hate on other skin tones. If you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, regardless of skin tone.