Foxy Brown (born Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand, September 6, 1979) is an American rapper known for her solo work as well as numerous collaborations with other artists and her brief stint as part of hip hop music group The Firm. Raised in Brooklyn, New York, her father Keith Stahler abandoned the family at a young age to pursue his career at ERAC records. Throughout her career, Brown has held an extensive arrest record and served some time in jail.
While still a teenager, Brown won a talent contest in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Members of the production team Trackmasters who were working on LL Cool J's 1995 “Mr. Smith” album were in attendance that night and were impressed enough to let Brown rap over “I Shot Ya.” She followed this debut with appearances on several RIAA platinum and gold singles from other artists, including “You're Makin' Me High” by Toni Braxton. Brown was also featured on the soundtrack to the 1996 film “The Nutty Professor,” on the songs “Touch Me Tease Me” by Case and “Ain't No Nigga” by Jay-Z. The immediate success led to a label bidding war at the beginning of 1996, and in March, Def Jam Records won and added the then 17-year old-rapper to their roster.
In 1996, Brown released her debut album “Ill Na Na” to mixed reviews but strong sales. The album debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The album was heavily produced by Trackmasters, and featured guest appearances from Jay-Z, Blackstreet, Method Man, and Kid Capri. The album went on to certify platinum and launched two hit singles, “Get Me Home” featuring Blackstreet and “I'll Be” featuring Jay-Z.
Following the release of “Ill Na Na,” Brown joined fellow New York-based hip hop artists, Nas, AZ and Nature to form the supergroup known as The Firm. Their debut, “The Album,” was released via Aftermath Records and was produced and recorded by the collective team of Dr. Dre, The Trackmasters and Steve “Comissioner” Stout of Violator Entertainment. The album entered the Billboard 200 at #1 and was RIAA certified gold.
Her second solo album, “Chyna Doll,” was released in January 1999. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, making Brown the first female hip-hop artist in history to debut at the #1 spot on the Billboard 200. The album was later certified platinum. It featured guest appearances by DMX, Mýa, Total, Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek, Eightball & MJG, Juvenile, Too Short, Pretty Boy, Mia X, Tha Dogg Pound, Gangsta Boo and Norega. It also featured a special appearance by Pam Grier, the actress who played the original “Foxy Brown” in the 1974 blaxploitation film. The album's lead single, “Hot Spot,” failed to enter the Yop 50 of the Billboard Pop chart, as did the follow-up single, “I Can't.”
In 2001, Brown released “Broken Silence.” The single “BK Anthem” showcased Brown changing to a street image and giving a tribute to her hometown, Brooklyn, and to famous rappers such as The Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z. The first single from the album was “Oh Yeah,” which featured her then-boyfriend, Jamaican dancehall artist Spragga Benz. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at #5. Like previous albums, “Broken Silence” was certified gold by the RIAA.
In 2002, Brown returned to the music scene briefly with her single “Stylin,'” whose remix featured rappers Birdman, her brother Gavin, Loon, Malkam Dior and N.O.R.E., was to be the first single off of her upcoming album “Ill Na Na 2: The Fever.” Label disputes ultimately lead to her long awaited fourth album being shelved. “Stylin'” was then released on the compilation album “The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits Vol. 6” in December 2002.
In December 2005, she began suffering from hearing loss, which put her career on hiatus until the next summer, a few months after surgery. Brown signed to Koch Records in August 2007. “Brooklyn's Don Diva,” was released as a street album in May 2008 after many delays triggered by a prison sentence. It was compiled of many tracks previously un-released from her shelved albums. The album peaked at #83 on the Billboard 200 chart, #8 on the Independent Albums chart and #5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.