Throughout her life, Foxy Brown has always hung around the fellas. Unfortunately, the Brooklyn MC says she's had to deal with losing a bunch of the men in her life — from boyfriends to cousins — to the penal system. She's keeping hope that at least one will get out soon, her childhood friend Shyne.
"We have a real special relationship that supercedes music," Foxy, who appears twice on Shyne's upcoming LP, Godfather Buried Alive, detailed about their connection on Tuesday, in between hitting a mixtape shop and getting a pedicure.
"We've known each other since I was 13. He calls me Pinga — my name is Inga, but he calls me Pinga. We have a real special bond. I witnessed the transformation of him before he was Shyne, just running around wilding in Flatbush [in Brooklyn] to getting signed. Then I went through the phase of seeing him being the hottest rapper with the biggest buzz in the industry."
Foxy and Shyne were so tight, she says she stayed by his side during his trial. And when their worst fears were confirmed and he was found guilty in June 2001 of assault, gun charges and reckless endangerment (see "Shyne Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison"), she visited him in jail.
"[When] those guilty counts came, I went to Rikers Island the next day," she said. "That's when people thought he was over. They counted him out. I was emotional; he was like, 'You're being a baby.' When they brought him out, I went from seeing him drive around in a Bentley and us living in the same apartment building in Jersey, to him coming out with his greens on and us sitting in the little colorful Mr. Rogers chairs. We're sitting with each other for an hour and somebody is saying we can't talk after this. I started tearing up, and he's like, 'You gotta be strong.' "
Foxy says she was distraught, not only because her friend was locked up, but also because he had to walk his walk almost alone. Many of his comrades who were around him when times were high had dispersed.
"Everybody was Shyne's friend," she said. "Everybody loved him at that moment when he had a hit record with Barrington Levy. It was crazy. Then, boom — here comes the shootout at Club New York, and everybody quickly disappears. I knew n---as is foul, and I was like, 'Everybody is turning their backs on him.' I just wanted to be the one to show him he has somebody there. It was hard to see him like that."
Foxy, who still visits Shyne to this day while he's in Clinton Correctional Facility, says it's easier to see her friend now.
"It's crazy," she laughed. "He's more driven in prison than he ever was out. He's knocking out million-dollar deals over the phone (see "Shyne Signs Deal With Def Jam From Behind Bars"). He makes me think to myself like, 'You can't be serious, not going out there like a beast, when he's locked up 20 hours, or whatever, a day.' "
During one of their phone conversations, Shyne asked Foxy to appear on his August 10 release (see "From Prison, Shyne Calls 50 Cent 'A Joke,' Records Dis Track").
"We talk on the phone for hours," Foxy revealed. "He's like, 'Ing, I need you in the studio tonight.' We're doing an album together called Bonnie and Shyne, so I was like, 'You want me to start without you? I thought we was gonna wait till you came home?' He was like, 'I want you to go and do something on the Godfather album.' "
Fox's assignment was simple: All she had to do was go in the studio and say three words: "More or less."
"I was like, 'More or less? That's it?' " she laughed. "He was like, 'I'm telling you, it's crazy. You don't understand.' "
Foxy's words were the icing on the cake Shyne needed for his first single, "More or Less." A week later, Foxy was back in the studio laying vocals for another Godfather song, "The Gang." She actually gets to spit full rhymes on this track.
Foxy says that there could potentially be a lot more music coming from her and her pal. Besides the aforementioned Bonnie and Shyne LP, they have also chatted about doing an album as a supergroup with Jay-Z.
"It was definitely discussed, but right now, this is the rebuilding process for me," Foxy explained. "The streets are begging for me to come back. They gotta listen to these bullsh-- female rappers out there. They just gotta settle right now. Hip-hop shouldn't have to settle. Everybody's like 'Boogie, come on.' When I come back, it's a problem. When Shyne comes back, it's a problem. They already know Jay's a problem. [Forming a trio] was Shyne's idea, actually. He was like, 'You know how crazy it would be?' I was like, 'If it's right, I'm with it.' Shyne's with it and if Jay's with it, it'll materialize into something incredible."
Vist MTVNews.com on Thursday to read "Blessed With Curses," an expansive story on Shyne where he talks about his relationship with Foxy Brown, how he's coping with life in prison and how he really feels about P. Diddy and 50 Cent. And be sure to tune in to MTV on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET to watch MTV's exclusive interview with Shyne, "Direct Effect and MTV News Present: Shyne On."