Virgin Records (2005)
In 2005, fans and critics alike were enthralled by music sensation Brooke Valentine. It was her dynamic single, “Girlfight,” featuring Lil Jon and Big Boi, taken from her debut full-length project, Chain Letter that helped propel album sales to 2.5 million copies worldwide.
However after such a monster (Brooke’s definition of the hit) simmered down the label released “Long as You Come Home“, that single failed to chart higher than #72 on the Billboard Charts. Later that year Brooke, had a single entitled “Boogie Oogie Oogie” featured on the soundtrack to the film Roll Bounce.
Thee following year Brooke released the lead single to what would have been her sophomore album “Physical Education” for the song “D-Girl” featuring Pimp C. and later released the second single “Pimped Out” featuring Dem Franchize Boyz. Thee album was never released due to a merger within her label.
Brooke spoke to UB about the success of “Girlfight” and she breaks down what really happened with her sophomore release!
UrbanBridgez.com: “Girlfight” was so huge for you!
Brooke Valentine: Oh my god, that was such a fun song! Now that monster, I call Girlfight a monster! I knew I was in trouble when I went to this big Church, I’m not going to say which one because you will know what pastor I’m talking about. So I’m in there and just really trying to be in the cut in the back. Then he said, I see my girl back there, it’s about to be a what…I was like noooo! Did the pastor just say that (laughs). So that’s when I knew and the album was really fresh out. So I’m thinking some people know and some people don’t, so I knew then the song was a beast. Then I remember the video for Girlfight, from everybody who came out like the celebrities. Like everybody was out there jammin to the record and knew the words. That song was bigger than me, it was just like wow. I still can’t believe it, like when I look at pictures and me and my dancers tell stories. Like girl, did that really happen. they’re like yeah it really happened! It went down, we partied hard (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: You mentioned having to fight with Virgin Records to be released from your contract, where did it go wrong for you at that label?
Brooke Valentine: You know, it’s kind of no secret that Virgin Records just kind of…you know. It’s like what happened, like everybody knows something happened but it just kind of crashed! They revamped, fired everybody and got all new staff. Then it’s all the artists on the roster saying, like who’s my product manager now, who’s my this and that and my new media now? They were just like, oh we’ll let you know, we’ll let you know. So with just all of the uncertainties and meeting people who was working on your project and honestly some of them just didn’t care. Like their heart wasn’t in it, it was just a job to them.
A lot of the things I’m saying alot of artists don’t talk about, this is like a forbidden fruit! It’s like don’t talk about the real, but if you ask Brooke, she’s gonna tell you the truth! A lot of these people at these labels just sit behind their desk and they do their job. They don’t really care if you pay your rent, they don’t care what really happens with you. They just need to meet their quota, look good doing it and then once it blows up, they want to be like yeah I was behind her. No you was not, you was just doing what you was told to. My name was on the calendar on your desk and you was like well let me do this right quick. So you know with that, I was just not feeling them honestly. I just felt like their hearts wasn’t really into it, I felt like it was alot of button pressing.
One day I got this email and it had who they were going to put me in the studio with and they was going to have me go on a date with this person for publicity. I was like whoa, I just pulled the plug! I was not going to turn into one of those people, I wasn’t going to do no fake stuff and mislead my fans. I wasn’t going shopping with ole girl to make it seem like we were best friends (laughs). It just got real plastic for me. I’m not a good liar, so I don’t do it. And I was like my fans are going to read me right away and say she’s fake. I couldn’t let that happen, so before it did I just quit! Along with what was also going on with me personally with my family, it was the perfect time to say no more.
Once we were going to create Physical Education, which was the title of that album going back listening to it…the features on there and everything, everybody would be surprised it wasn’t released. It was a good album, but I call it a paper album. Again from them like this is who you’re working with, this is the sound we’re going for, etc. Although we did get great music out of it, I like it I just feel like it could be way more organic. Way more real, I like to just float into the studio and hang around and create. When I’m tired I leave or if not, I’m staying for like 3 days and just jammin out. With that album, it was none of that. It was 9 to 5. Like we start at 9, end at 5. I said all of that to say…it was time to go! That relationship was over, I didn’t feel the love.
To tell you the truth, I wasn’t happy what they did with Janet! Her album came out before mine, I watched that whole thing happen like what this is Janet Jackson! I’m like y’all need to pull up and get it together. Once I seen that, I was like I am not turning this album in (laughs). I never turned the album in and what happens then is there is no album to put out.