Sway: Your album, Broken Silence, comes out June 5. Why did you give it that title?
Brown: Because I'm probably the most mysterious, misunderstood female rapper ever. And I think that I am sort of a voice of reason for the young teenagers, young adults that are struggling every day, that look up to me.
Sway: What kind of topics do you touch on?
Brown: The intro is called "The Letter." The first verse is a letter to my mom. The second verse is to my brother Gavin, and the third verse is to my brother Anton, just singing to them, how I feel and what I'm going through. I have a song called "Broken Wings" and "The Saddest Day of My Life." I have an Arabic record, I have two West Indian records, and a lot of reggae-influenced tracks.
Sway: What is your ethnic background? Are you Filipino and black?
Brown: I'm not Filipino and black. Actually, it's so funny, 'cause when Jay-Z and I first met, he swore that I was Filipino and black, and I'm like, "No, I'm not." My family is Trinidadian and Asian.
Sway: The beginning of your album, you told me earlier, confronts a lot of different rumors.
Brown: It's called "Why Doesn't Everybody Just Get off My Back?" and it also contains news clippings of everything, "Foxy Brown this, Foxy Brown that." It starts off with a 16-bar rhyme that just sums everything up in a nutshell, and it goes into "The Letter" and ends with "Broken Wings," so it definitely shows maturity.
Sway: Did you work with Dr. Dre on this album at all?
Brown: No, actually, I haven't. I wanted to, though, because I'm actually the first female rapper he's ever worked with, outside of Rage, so it was wonderful doing The Firm [with him,] but I couldn't get him this time. I tried. I think he's busy. He's fully loaded right now. But I know I will, because he's great.
Sway: What about other members of The Firm, like Nas? Did you work with Nas?
Brown: No, I haven't. As far as producers, I have the Neptunes. We got two from the Neptunes. It's so funny, because every time I work with somebody, I'm always the first female rapper they've worked with Jay-Z, Nas, the Neptunes and it's such a wonderful experience.
Sway: What can you share with young ladies that are your age right now how old are you?
Brown: I'm a baby. You're going to laugh: I'm 21.
Sway: What kind of advice would you like to give to girls who might be walking a similar path?
Brown: Take me as an example. Do not let anything, any obstacle, stand in your way. People will try and knock you down and break your spirits. You have to just keep going.