*Well how timely is this? Brandy and Monica, who two weeks ago teamed for a Verzuz that appeared to be beef free, took the stage together at the MTV Video Music Awards 22 years ago today (Sept. 15) to perform their hit duet in the midst of a contentious relationship that got physical just moments before the performance.
There was no Twitter back then, but AOL chatrooms were all abuzz over rumors that the teen singers would be performing their hit single “The Boy Is Mine” while in the midst of a serious beef. It got so bad that Monica famously put her hands on Brandy backstage minutes before the performance.
Below, Austin tells VLAD-TV that he actually witnessed the punch.
Although Austin says that Monica generally thought Brandy was bougie, and Brandy felt Monica was “ghetto,” their beef can be traced back to one particular incident that during the filming of “The Boy is Mine” video that seemed to cement the rift.
Brandy apparently put her finger in Monica’s face while trying to act out the lyrics, “Not yours, but mine,” which both say in a back and forth manner. Monica told Vibe magazine: “Brandy was ad-libbing about the situation and, at one point, she put her hand to my face – playing. And it upset me. That’s the kind of stuff that becomes personal with me. Not because it was Brandy. That goes for anybody.”
Austin told VLAD-TV in the clip above that the two young ladies were already not speaking during production of the video. Brandy’s hand to the face appeared to be the point of no return for their relationship at the time. That moment was left on the cutting room floor and the final version instead involved the two leaning back and forth in each other’s face. Watch below, at the 3:42 mark.
After wrapping the video, Brandy and Monica went their separate ways and didn’t see each other again until September 15, 1998, when the two performed the song at the MTV Video Music Awards despite their torrid beef and Monica having socked Brandy in the face moments before they hit the stage. Watch below:
Brandy & Monica – “The Boy Is Mine” Live – MTV Video Music Awards (1998)
Fast forward to their Verzuz battle last Aug 31. Both ladies said their beef had been squashed in the years since the MTV performance. But a “joke” from Brandy during Verzuz threatened to blow up the peace treaty. Monica was introducing “So Gone,” saying there was a time when she was “kicking in doors and smacking chicks.”
“I was one of the ones.” Brandy said under her breath. Monica heard it and backtracked to check her after, appearing peeved that Brandy was even bringing it up. The “Moesha” star quickly tried to abort, saying, “It was a joke. You should’ve laughed, played it…”
“It wasn’t funny,” Monica said.
“People think I’m abusive. That’s not what happened.”
“You’re not abusive,” Brandy said, dragging the words out half-throated.
“That sounded like I was abusive.”
“But you the one said you kicked in the door…”
“I didn’t say you!”
“Well no, you didn’t kick in my doe!”
“Right! So why would you say you was one of the ones?”
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that,” Brandy replied. That’s probably gonna go viral. I’m so sorry, y’all. I didn’t mean no shade by that. I was trying to make a joke. You know I try to work on my comedy.”
“It was a misunderstanding,” Monica said of the punch, before moving on to finally introduce “So Gone.”
Watch the whole exchange below beginning at the 33:25 mark, then watch their introduction and playing of “The Boy Is Mine” at the 2:53:00 mark.
Brandy Verzuz Monica