Brenton Brown
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Brenton Brown

Miami, Florida, United States | SELF

Miami, Florida, United States | SELF
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"Backstage With: B. Brown"

University of Florida student and rap enthusiast B. Brown is calling his own shots. With the online release this August of his second mix tape, The Pregame, and an upcoming gig as the opener for Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on Friday, Oct. 22, Brown is building his music reputation on his own terms, from blogging about music to laying down new beats. INsite talked with Brown about his upcoming plans and what it’s like to be a rapper in Gainesville.

By Morgan Watkins

What spurred your interest in rapping?

It started with my brother…he got me into all this--Nas and Jay-Z, and of course commercialized rap. To impress him, my thing was that I wanted to start rapping. I wanted to show him I could do it. I started rapping back in elementary school and people were making fun of me, saying, “You’re garbage. You’re terrible. You can’t rap.” And I was like, “I’ll show you.”

It seems like you’ve come a long way from rapping as a kid in grade school.

I just got better and better and better. I always had a notebook on me. If I was in class and felt a line come to me or a verse or a hook, I’d scribble it down. Those lines became verses and verses became songs, and the songs got better...By my freshman year of college I had already amassed a bunch of songs--books and books and books of songs. Things I can still go back to and take lines from and use in today’s work. Everything got better. Everything progressed.

Did you always plan to make a career out of music?

Music is just one of those things that went from being a hobby to being everything. It’s even more than everything now.

Gainesville Music

While you are promoting your music, you are also a journalism student at UF. What made you choose that major?

Coming into UF, I knew I wanted to do journalism…Journalism was a thing where I could learn how to express myself. It was easier to write because I am always around words and I always see where those things connect. I wanted to later on use journalism as my tool…I want to have the B. Brown name (be) more than (just) music. It’s journalism. It’s marketing. It’s business.

You just released your second mix tape, The Pregame, in August, which you said has had more than 70,000 online downloads. What do you hope listeners take away from that work?

I try to make music for everybody. If you listen to The Pregame, you’ll find something you’ll like, something to laugh at…If it’s so good that people don’t even realize it’s not Ludacris or it’s not Taio Cruz, I just did my job.

THINK FAST!

Rapper you would love to go to a show with: So many, but some of the top ones would be Asher Roth, Jay-Z and Ludacris.

Most forgotten piece of equipment: The music: sometimes I’ve forgotten to give a DJ the music for my show

Favorite pastime: Watching movies, catching up on TV shows

Favorite TV show: Burn Notice

Best concert you’ve been to: Summer Jams concert in New York, 1998. All the people who made me fall in love with hip-hop were there.

Favorite food: Cheesecake

One word that best describes you: Driven

Coming off of that success, what are your next career plans?

I have a clear vision of what I want to do. I modeled my career path after the Jay-Zs of the game. They built their careers from the ground up. It was only recently that I got a manager…but I’m still footing most of the work because I want it to be my success as well. I don’t even have a publicist. I do it all, too. My minor is marketing. I want to make sure I have a platform and know how to market myself and put myself out there.



You’re an unsigned artist, but it sounds like you aren’t obsessing over getting a huge major-label deal. You’re just trying to build your career in your own way.

I don’t want a major record label. They do things like the 360 deal where they take bits and pieces from everything. I’m doing my show, I’m going out there (and) I’m losing sleep over this. That money’s mine...And that’s why I don’t want a major record label to take over my musical career. I want to start with an independent label.

As a rapper in Gainesville, have you found support from students and other music lovers in the city?

The networking is amazing at UF. It’s easier for me to stay here with that base. This is like home central right here. If I go anywhere else, it’s like going from the ground up. I’d rather stay here and go from the ground up with a following behind me.

For more on B. Brown, check out his website at or go see him open for Bone Thugs-n-Harmony on Oct. 22 at the Venue. - InSite Magazine


Discography

*As Boogs Milli:*

-The Hangover (mix tape)

*As Brenton Brown/B. Brown:*

-The Pregame (mix tape)

Singles:

- Take Over Control (Remix)
- Stereo Love (Remix)
- No Bitchassness
- Feelin' It 2011
- Peep The Sneaks

The Brenton Brown Affair (Album)

We On Mars (Feat. Gotham Green)

Photos

Bio

The definition of Hip-hop/Rap's isotope. Brenton Brown, formerly Boogs Milli, moved from the Long Island suburbs to Miami in 2003 and found his musical talent. As a recent University of Florida graduate, Brown says don't count him out and don't box him in. His style can be considered similar to Kanye West's as Brown shows his versatility on genres of music outside of Hip-hop including: Pop, House, Rock & Soul. He’s been steadily spreading his music all over Florida and Atlanta’s college campuses. Getting seriously involved in music at the age of 17, Brown's first performance was at his college's major pep rally, Gator Growl. Here he said, the dream became more reality. "the lights came on, and I felt ready, it just felt natural," Brown said. Since his start, he's opened for such artists as David Banner, Bone Thugs, Wale, J. Cole, B.O. B, Kid Cudi, Whole Wheat Bread and Method Man and Redman, and even done a small performance with grassroots favorite, Asher Roth. Noted for his first buzzworthy project, "The Pregame” Brown gave supporters a look inside college life his way, the ups and downs, the party life and the school aspect. On a collaboration with Gainesville and internet-known producer, Dj Codeman, Brown joined forces with other Gainesville talent to create the “Beat Drop Squad” mix tape which made a nice hit on the hip-hop blips at 17,000 downloads. As he Prepares to graduate from the University of Florida, he is currently hard at work on his next mix tape “The Wednesday Buzz“ and his album, "The Brenton Brown Affair" which he says will showcase a "graduation" of sorts into his lyrics style and image. "I'm just ready to be heard, so keep your ears open," Brown said.