FOXY BROWN: Hi, Cyndi !
CYNDI LAUPER: HOW ya’ doin’, doll ?
FB: Fine. I’ve been telling people, “I’m talking to Cyndi Lauper !” and they’re all like, “Yeah, right.”
CL: Well, you’re doing the interview now, hon.
FB: I wanted to ask you, being a female in the music industry, do you think the industry is sexist ?
CL: It is, but I don’t dwell on it, because my world isn’t like that. I decided a long time ago the only way to change things was for me to change my environment.
FB: Oh my God, I did that same thing. I have enough pressure, being that I’m young and with the things I talk about. You know, people say, “All Foxy does is talk about sex.” I get a lot of criticism for that and I don’t need anybody in my own camp [criticizing me too].
CL: Yeah, but what the hell is L.L. [Cool J] doing ?
FB: [laughs] My thing is I was always open with my sexuality, you know what I mean ? I feel there’s nothing to hide. And it’s been done. Everyone talks a little about sex. Even you !
CL: Who, me ? Well, I’ve talked about different kinds of things. “She Bop” was more [about] masturbation.
FB: See ?
CL: Well, it’s the safest kind of sex there is, doll.
FB: And you’re enjoying yourself at the same time !
CL: Can I tell you something ? What I got from your record was a certain view of life, of where you grew up. That’s what I heard.
FB: Really ? That’s strange, because if you listen to any news station, they’re always like, “Seventeen-year-old X-rated teen rapper [Foxy Brown].”
CL: Oh, fuck what everyone says. Don’t you know that everyone is always going to try and pigeonhole you ?
FB: I used to believe that, but now I can’t help but care what people say.
CL: NO, no, no. Wait a minute. Now, when you started doing this, sure you wanted to be successful, but in the end you know and I know that the joy is in the doing. It’s in the moment when all the rhythms click and the rhyme fits in just the right way. That’s the joy–the music–and that’s what nobody can ever take away from you. And, yeah, you may be pretty–lucky you–but it’s not about that. Even though you’re talking about sex, where is it taking place ? In what neighborhood ?
FB: Yeah, you’re right.
CL: Because really, as artists our job is almost like being a reporter. For my new album, “Sisters of Avalon”, I travelled around the world and wrote about the people close to me, the people I love.
FB: AS far as [my album] III Na Na, if I had had more experience, I would have had more input. ‘Cause [when we started working on it] everything, down to what I was wearing, was left up to the record company. After the album went platinum and I had a little leverage, I was like, “Look, check this out. I want my makeup artist, I want this, I want that.”
CL: You know, I was originally signed as only a singer and I guess that’s what they expected, but I had my own ideas. What I did (which you might want to do) is, I got a really simple set-up in my home–an Akai board–so I wouldn’t have to negotiate over the music that I did. And the less negotiation I had to do, the more music I could make. I play things like the omnichord–
FB: The omnichord ? I love that !
CL: Yeah, it’s dope-simple. On the new album I wrote the chords and I played the omnichord and the harmonium. I played that guitar solo on “Unhook the Stars,” too. [singing] “Da-da-na” ?
FB: Yeah, that’s the joint !
CL: You know what track I responded to on your CD ? “As If. . .”
FB: Yeah, that was straight from my heart.
CL: Well, it hit mine, and that is what you should focus on–that is what will make you a cut above. You’re not just selling sex, sweetie. You are a sexual human being, that’s all.
FB: And is there anything wrong with that ?
CL: Well, you know–it’s just that they sent all the Puritans over here.
FB: What I’m getting from you is good advice. Because sometimes I feel like I don’t know which way to go. I really enjoyed talking to you, Cyndi. Thank you so much.
CL: Good luck, sweetie. Knock ’em dead.