Foxy Brown Biography 1979-
Inga Marchand — a.k.a. Foxy Brown or the Ill Na Na — was born September 6, 1979, in Brooklyn, New York. In her Park Slope childhood days, young Inga was mesmerized by blaxploitation films. She watched practically every one, and chose Pam Grier’s title character Foxy Brown as her moniker.
Foxy and her childhood friend Lil’ Kim (who Foxy is often compared to) fantasized about the days that they would be successful in the rap world. It was almost a fairytale and form of escape for Foxy, who did not have a good relationship with her ever-absent father.
Her big break came along in 1994, when she won a talent contest and was therefore invited to freestyle on a Brooklyn concert stage. Incidentally, Trackmasters decided to let the foxy lady rap over an LL Cool J track, “I Shot Ya”. LL Cool J’s Mr. Smith was in production at the time, and the album became one of Foxy’s tickets to stardom.
She was next invited by Jay-Z to freestyle on his single, “Ain’t No Nigga”. While her friend Lil’ Kim became Notorious B.I.G.’s protg, Foxy was handpicked and mentored by Jay-Z. She appeared on Toni Braxton’s remix for “You’re Makin’ Me High”, Case’s “Touch Me, Tease Me”, Silk’s remix of “Hooked On You”, and Total’s “No One Else”.
By the time Foxy Brown released her debut album, the rap world was already familiar with the artist’s raspy, sexy voice thanks to her contribution to many a rapper. A bidding war between record companies ensued, since many companies wanted to sign Foxy Brown to their label. Def Jam was the lucky winner.
Ill Na Na was released in 1996, and debuted in the 7th spot on the Billboard charts. Produced by the Trackmasters, the album also featured contributions by Blackstreet, Method Man and Kid Capri, and the production assistance of Mobb Deep, Suga Bear and China. Selling more than 1.5 million copies, the album spawned the Blackstreet and Foxy Brown smash duet, “Get Me Home”.
Foxy’s success as an emcee and solo artist led to her joining The Firm, a group consisting of rappers AZ, Cormega, and led by Nas. The Firm posse released their first album, The Firm: The Album in 1997, on Dr. Dre’s Aftermath record label.
A year after her work with The Firm, Foxy Brown released her second solo effort, Chyna Doll. No disappointment to former Foxy Brown fans, the freestyler continued to rap about exactly what she wants from men, and continued to emphasize her love for high-fashion.
And this album is chock-full of guests as well; some old, some new. Chyna Doll welcomes Total, Eightball, Juvenile, and her mentor, Jigga Man. The album, which has gone on to sell more than 800,000 copies, is just as mature as its predecessor, while Foxy’s materialistic loving, Prada and Benz, sexually explicit lyrics feature a Foxy Brown well beyond her years.
No stranger to bad press, Foxy Brown has made headlines for spitting on two hotel clerks who did not provide her with an iron, and being accused for allegedly smacking around a fan of hers. Foxy was recently in the news for suffering neck and arm pain after crashing her Rover into a fence.
While Foxy does show that there is a fox in every woman — as her hero Pam Grier proved — this foxy lady is probably more about sexploitiation than blaxploitation.