T.I., Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lil Wayne Show Their ‘Swagga': Sept. 6 in Hip-Hop History
On this day in hip-hop history, the combined star power of four of the biggest names in the business, Jay-Z, Kanye West, T.I. and Lil Wayne, was put on display, and Brandy released her first single. Read about those events and see who's celebrating a birthday on Sept. 6.
1994: Brandy arrives with "I Wanna Be Down"
A few weeks before her self-titled debut arrived in stores, Brandy, who was all of 15 years old at the time, introduced herself to the world with "I Wanna Be Down." The No. 1 R&B song peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and launched her career. Within two years, she'd be the star of her own TV show, Moesha, and score a double-platinum global No. 1 hit with "The Boy Is Mine," a duet with Monica.
2008: "Swagga Like Us" by Jay-Z, T.I., Kanye West and Lil Wayne is officially released
T.I. hyped Paper Trail with "Swagga Like Us," which also featured Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne. West built the track off a sample from M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes," and he and T.I. rapped over it. Then, they decided to make it even bigger.
"It was a song that Kanye and I had done first; me featuring Kanye," T.I. told MTV. "An idea had presented itself -- 'What if we included these people and made it an event record?' -- and I was like, 'That's a very ambitious idea but a lovely one.'"
The other two then gave their contributions, and Jay-Z had even said that it was also going to be on The Blueprint 3 before eventually changing his mind. But the decision to make the song so huge may have worked against his plans. It was leaked over the internet a few weeks prior to the official release date.
"That's some bullshit," he continued. "I'm beating down the Internet as we speak. ... Don't ruin the event. Wait till the cake comes out the kitchen before you eat it. That's like a kid who sees his toys before Christmas; it takes away from me and I think it takes away from the fans as well. When it's time, I'mma give it to you. They leaked my record with me and The-Dream ["Like I Do"] too. Leakage is never a problem I have had. I'm not used to it."
Five hip-hop figures are celebrating birthdays today. Rosie Perez was born in 1964. The Brooklyn native began her career as a Soul Train dancer, became a star in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, and has had a long, successful career as an actress, choreographer, author and activist. Macy Gray (1967) rose to fame with her 1999 Grammy-winning single, "I Try." She's since had a prolific career balancing her singing career with numerous film and TV roles.
Victor Santiago Jr. (1977) was Noreaga in the '90s hip-hop duo Capone-N-Noreaga before going solo as N.O.R.E. He changed his name again in 2013, this time to P.A.P.I. (Power Always Proves Intelligence). Foxy Brown (1978) put out her debut, Ill Na Na, in 1996, and was with Nas, AZ, Cormega and Nature in the Firm. Her most recent record was 2001's Broken Silence. Born in Baton Rouge, La., Webbie (1985) arrived in 2005 with Savage Life, a title he's continued to use for subequent albums, and the single "Give Me That."