You may not recognize the name, but my fellow Reality TV monks, who find inner peace in the plight of fallen stars, know her well. Sonja Norwood is Brandy's mother and manager. I assume you know Brandy, the R&B singer and star of that long running, second-tier sitcom, Moesha, and now another tally on the never-ending checklist of celebrities who have no problem granting us full access to their disenchanting lives.
I still can't put my finger on their motives for doing this. Is it just a paycheck in troubled times or simply a sign of adapting to a shift in the climate of television entertainment? Hollywood wants what's hot, but whatever the initiative, Brandy and her brother Ray J, a reality "dating show" star in his own right, air their boring laundry in an extravaganza called Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business on VH1.
Here's the thing: Brandy is at something of a crossroads in her career after a disappointing comeback album, for which she shamelessly lays blame at the feet of celebrated record producer, Rodney Jerkins (until he gives her a reality check of her own), and she's searching for a new angle. She discusses a possible sitcom with her brother, not a bad idea given her past success and Ray's popularity among the opposite sex, that is, of course, assuming that American pop culture still has the chops for such rustic television.
She also "guarantees herself success on her new project," a bold forecast but not inconceivable for a seasoned, multi-platinum pop star with a Grammy on her mantle. The only problem is that, thanks to legendary hip-hop producer Timbaland who, for reasons unknown, decided to let Brand New (Brandy's self proclaimed rap alter-ego) "spit" on his album, she's convinced that she should forgo her strength as a unique and powerful vocalist and give rap a shot.
I refuse to believe that "Timbo," who does have a tendency to go pop but has still been all around the rap game, is blind to what is obvious as soon as Brand New begins either of the two verses that make up her entire catalog. She is quite below average, even admitting herself that it's a "hobby," and after watching her fumble to catch the beat during her sound check, a skill which is taught in Rap 101 and mastered by any MC worthy of amplifying his/her voice, and amateurishly blaming it on an earlier disagreement with Mom, he MUST have figured it out.