Hip-Hop Wired: What’s your relationship like with Rick Ross, who fills the role of a mentor?
Brianna Perry: I have the utmost respect for Rick Ross as an artist. He’s one of the people in the game who watched me grow from a young girl. He knew me before I even got in the booth for the first time when I was seven-years old and helped put together my first mixtape. I have an incredible amount of respect for him and admiration. I think he’s one of the dopest MCs that’s doing it right now. Not to mention, we’re both from Carol City. So coming from where I’m from to going around the world and doing what he does, that’s big inspiration for me.
Hip-Hop Wired: How did your involvement with the show come about?
Brianna Perry: The production team and Oxygen reached out to me. I had already been putting out mixtapes , visuals and was nominated for a BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist without releasing my debut album. So, I guess they really just put their ears to the street before they contacted me. After that, we of course went through the whole negotiating process. It’s truly a blessing for me to be one of the five girls. It really is.
Hip-Hop Wired: You have a degree from UM. What was it like going to school as a full-time rapper?
Brianna Perry: Yes, I graduated in May. Being a full time rapper and a full-time student was definitely a hustle as you can imagine. They’re both extremely demanding, time consuming and require a certain amount of dedication. So to be able to finish that goal meant a lot to me.
Hip-Hop Wired: Congrats.
Brianna Perry: Thank you!
Hip-Hop Wired: What’s the most difficult thing about being managed by your own mother?
Brianna Perry: It’s crazy. It really is. But we have a very tight bond. She’s more than just my mom, she’s more than just my manager, she’s really close to me. She’s my best friend. She wears so many different hats. And I know that she wants to see me win and loves me unconditionally. So, to have her on my team with the role of being a manager, I don’t take it for granted.
Hip-Hop Wired: You’re known as the Poe Boy Princess. Do you think that a female rapper needs to be affiliated with a male group or label to gain recognition?
Brianna Perry: If you look back at Hip-Hop history, female MCs, for the most part, have been cosigned by the dudes running the rap game at the time. I definitely think it helped every woman in the game who had that. And I don’t necessarily have that male cosign. I’m signed to Atlantic Records through Poe Boy, but I’m not under one male figure who’s running the game right now, who has me on tour with him or on his records. It’s definitely more of a grind to break through without that [male cosign], if every successful woman before me had that.