Singer-songwriter Brandy is not only in the business of making hits, but apparently, mending fences.
At the 2022 BET Awards, the “Queens” actor made a surprise appearance during Jack Harlow’s performance, showcasing her rap skills, versatility and longevity. She performed alongside the Louisville rapper for his hit single “First Class.”
It was quite the turnaround for Harlow, who in a May interview on radio station HOT 97, shyly confessed that he did not know Brandy was related to R&B artist Ray J. He also failed to recognize Brandy’s 1998 hit “Angel in Disguise.” While it was all fun and games for Brandy, Twitter users critiqued Harlow, demanding that white rappers should educate themselves about Black music icons and Black culture.
Consequently, Brandy remixed his single “First Class,” with her own freestyle ― fulfilling her mission to “murk this dude in rap at 43 on his own beats and then sing [h]is ass to sleep,” as she previously tweeted.
Harlow found himself in another controversy ahead of this year’s BET Awards after the roster of nominees was announced, and rapper Lil’ Nas X expressed his frustration online over being snubbed by the network. Fans pointed out that Harlow — who was featured on Lil Nas X’s hit song “Industry Baby” — was not only performing, but also had received a nomination for Best Rapper.
So it wasn’t clear how BET Awards audiences would respond to Harlow’s performance at Sunday’s show. Thankfully, Brandy graced the stage with her presence and resurrected the crowd’s spirits.
“Over 20 years and I’m still a topic / A bitch is worth a million and I’m feeling philanthropic,” Brandy rapped. Torn between loving the performance and relegating it to a PR gimmick, fans sounded off online.
One user tweeted, “Brandy gave that Jack Harlow performance the seasoning it needed.” Another wrote, “The PR behind Brandy and Jack Harlow was executed to perfection. I hate it… but they did that!”
Others hope this is just the beginning of what may be a forthcoming new single.