"She can rap," he promised. "She's got the swagger, the tone — ain't nothing I can say about it."
Sitting in the studio in Miami before Tim's album-release party, Brandy couldn't hide how ecstatic she was to enter the next phase in her career.
"What I'm doing on the album is a little bit different than what everybody knows me for," she said. "I'm rapping on the album. Timbaland endorsed that. He changed my name to Bran' Nu. He really gave me a shot to be different and be versatile. I can't thank him enough for that. This is a wonderful opportunity. I'm blessed to be here."
Brandy doesn't need a ghostwriter either — she authored her own bars for the songs "Meet in the Middle" and "The Symphony."
"I had a blast," she said. "I wrote my own verses. Anything I did, I wrote myself. It was a great experience. I got a chance to be another part of myself. He even allowed me to mix in the singing with the rapping. It feels good. It feels like this is what I'm supposed to do. This is a reinvention for me. I'm excited about it."
Brandy said she used to just spit for fun, but when Tim saw footage of her rapping on the Internet, he wanted to try her out in the studio.
"I was rapping as a hobby. It was something I did for my friends and just played around on ideas and stuff like that," she said. "Timbaland saw the video, 'cause I posted it on my YouTube. He called me. He was like, 'Yo, you have to do this. You have to come to the studio. Let's see how you sound.' So I went to the studio, and we did a smash. It was incredible. All I could think about was, 'I just wanna blow him away. I wanna make him proud, because I really wanna sign with Timbaland and spend the rest of my career making music with Tim.' It was an interesting process. Like I said, I'm excited. It's different from anything I've ever done. To be right by his side is amazing."
Timbaland Presents: Shock Value II dropped Tuesday. The album features appearances by Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake and others. Timbo's new single, "Say Something," has a guest appearance from another artist who can rap and sing: Drake.