Monica did an interview with Entertainment Tonight ahead of her Verzuz battle with Brandy, and she teased that they might tell us the REAL tea about why they were feuding all those years.
Brandy previously made some comments that made it seem like their problems are deeper than what we think. “This has been going on for a long time, I’m just no longer a punk and won’t allow anyone to bully me,” she wrote under one of her mother’s pictures on Instagram. “Always know there is something deeper and some things I know that no one else would.”
While we sit tight for that tea to spill during the friendly battle, I’m going to give y’all an oral history of their beef.
Brandy, Monica, and Aaliyah were the three teen, female R&B sensations to emerge out of the late 90s. Aaliyah led the pack, but when Brandy broke out on the scene, she criticized the late singer’s image for being a little too grown.
But Aaliyah was in a lane of her own, and she embraced Brandy, and they formed a friendship.
The real problem is that women in music, whether that be R&B or Hip Hop, are always pitted against each other. We’ve literally seen it happen mad times from Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, to Keri Hilson and Beyonce, Lil Kim and Foxy Brown, and the situation is no different with Brandy and Monica.
Their duet “The Boy Is Mine” was an instant hit and it featured the women declaring their love for the same man, who was played by Mekhi Phifer.
The singers both earned a Grammy for the record but the public began comparing their voices and sadly their looks. Miss Thang was the around the way girl who had a powerful voice. She kept a clean-cut image covering her tattoos.
Brandy had a soft, raspy voice but she had range. She was more of a “wholesome” girl because she was in Church. But she was a darker complexion than Monica and had fuller lips which she was both admired and ridiculed for.
Their beef reached a peak when Monica punched Brandy backstage at the 1998 VMAs, which Monica says is the only time they performed it together. According to BrownSista, “the scene where Brandy put her hand in Monica’s face in the video was supposed to be edited out at Monica’s request. When it wasn’t, one thing led to another and Miss Thang assaulted her fellow R&B singer.”
The singers reportedly confirmed that they fought during an interview with Angie Martinez when she was still at Hot 97.
Dallas Austin, who co-wrote The Boy Is Mine, also confirmed the allegations that Monica put the paws on Brandy.
The singers never spoke directly but spent years passive-aggressively gaslighting the beef in the press. They reunited in 2012 for a duet called “It All Belongs To Me.” It seems like they bonded over the loss of their shared mentor, Whitney Houston, because the women were in talks of doing a joint tour and all that.
But that didn’t last. The beef reignited in 2016 when Monica appeared on Oprah’s Where Are They Now, where she talked about her relationship with Whitney Houston, referring to the late icon as her “fairy godmother.”
[Insert clip of Monica on OWN]
Although Monica added that Whitney played that role for many people, it doesn’t seem like those comments sat well with Brandy who was handpicked by the late singer to portray the first Black Cinderella.
Later, Brandy took to Instagram to share a photo of Houston in a since-deleted post, writing, “Everybody wanted what we had/have and I am blessed enough to have been your friend, #FairyGodDaughter and make history with you as my #FairyGodMother — and now you’re my angel— I wish that you were here in the physical to witness so much of my courage that you stayed on me about– but I know you are watching and I know what you expect me to do. Our bond is unmatched…I love you Nippy.”
That same year, Brandy took the stage at the 2016 Soul Train Awards and changed the lyrics to her Kanye West-produced record, “Talk About Our Love.”
That’s also the same year the “So Gone” challenge popped off where social media users uploaded videos of themselves freestyling to Monica and Missy Elliot’s 2003 hit single. Someone asked Brandy to do the Monica challenge and she responded “Chile bye.”
Monica’s supporters dragged Brandy online, and she responded to the online feud on an episode of The Real.
But it seems like the singers are finally going to get some closure during their Verzuz battle. But it’s definitely feeling like ‘98 again. Both of them have flyers with their faces first and the fans are already sounding off.
I’ll be back with the update about what started this two-decade-long feud.