There’s an undeniable and inextinguishable fire that drives Detroit rappers and Molly Brazy is no exception. Inspired by Nicki Minaj’s Roman’s Revenge, the unique swagger and hunger of her city, and a commitment to keeping it real amongst a sea of fake artists just looking to cash a check, the 19-year-old Brazy is everything we love about music wrapped up in one hip-hop upstart.
Her two major releases—2017’s Molly World and Big Brazy—are snapshots of the head-on collision between potential and execution, taken just a second before the true carnage. Meaning, Molly Brazy is fast approaching her first—of many—artistic explosions. Where Molly World was a sprawling rap fest, sounding like the most cerebral bar fight this side of the East Coast, Big Brazy is a leaner offering, clocking in at half the runtime and with double the focus. Big Brazy proves Molly can check in with herself, edit down, and keep the ball rolling.
Her self-awareness dates back to her high school days, wherein she was kicked out before graduating. Of course, given her current career trajectory, Molly now takes the expulsion as a blessing. In fact, she considers the majority of her life to be a series of her flipping terrible situations into opportunities. When she can, she avoids trouble altogether, describing herself as a student of her environment.
“I actually don’t really let bad things happen to me,” she assures me over the phone. “I pay attention to other people and take lessons from that instead of going through it myself. When I see it once, I just know, ‘Oh, that ain’t what you wanna do.’”
The best lesson she’s learned? Keeping an unwavering self-confidence: “Make the best out of everything, and don’t let nobody get to you,” she says. “Everything isn’t what it seems to be, so don’t let nobody make you feel less of yourself.” In that breath, Molly Brazy and her music both circle brightness and maturity amidst an aggressive core.
“I’ve been progressing a lot with my anger,” she says. “I want to better myself and be known as more bright. I love bright females. I wanna be a businesswoman, but I’m still a rapper at the end of the day. It’s just a maturity, really.”
Big Brazy balances paranoia and aggression with optimism and advice in much the same way. Opener “Molly’s Story” is touching and bright in spite of Molly’s cutting flows and limitless brooding energy, while tracks like “Naan” and “Trust None” find Molly unable to shake the feeling of snakes in the grass as she makes her career climb. Even so, Molly Brazy is high above the toxic one-woman-at-a-time mentality of hip-hop, rattling off Kash Doll, Saweetie, Kodie Shane, and Tokyo Jetz as just a few of the many women she fucks with.
As a fiery MC who hails from Motown, there are no words for her process. Molly Brazy simply and naturally embodies her city. She, along with a score of local artists, is helping turn Detroit into what she believes to be the next hip-hop hotspot.
“I really feel like Detroit could be the new Atlanta with the way we work together,” Brazy explains. “Even though we always supported each other, it’s like the big industry wasn’t looking for us for that. Now that everybody is getting a light now, it’s easier for us all to get noticed. We always just bringing each other up and shouting each other out, putting each other on songs. We can all come up together! We all know in Detroit that there’s money for everybody, and everybody can get a piece of the cake.”
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Her success, and the success of the city as a whole, hinges on an unparalleled honesty. While Brazy believes that there is a dearth of realness to some upcoming acts, she swears up and down that the only changes she will be making will be for the better.
“I’m just tryna start a new wave by being true to myself and showing other people that you can come up without changing,” she declares. “I’m changing, but in a positive way. I just wanna start a whole new wave where people know me. I just wanna show them the real.
“People think that you come in the music industry and you gotta get tattoos on your face. I stayed the same, and actually set that example: ‘She’s still the same Molly! She’s positive, she’s a businesswoman, she ain’t gang banging, but she’s still about her shit.’”
Positive growth aside, there are two core tenets Brazy vows to never change: her loyalty and staying true to herself. She proudly tells me she’s not easily influenced, speaks her mind if someone in her circle is about to get into something “iffy,” and reserves judgment for anyone who may not be on the same path as her. “I’m me, you’re you—we don’t have to be the same,” she says of other artists on the come up. “We still can be in this game.”
Despite such a level head on her shoulders, especially for blowing up at 18, Molly Brazy isn’t immune to the consequences of choosing a career in music. There’s a tinge of worry and isolation to the life she’s chosen, but the good news is she takes the negatives in stride and in service of her music.
“You know, there’s those days where you’re in your room and you’re just alone [and] you don’t got people to call," she admits. "I don’t got friends at all, I’m not even gonna lie. I only talk to the businesspeople that I work with. It’s like reality hit, like, this is actually my life. I can’t just get friends because they intentions might not be what I think. Maybe I’m just trying get a friend and they tryna get a handout or something like that. Those complicating moments, it’s like, ‘Well, this is your life. This is what you picked!’ I’m still adjusting.”
Having recently moved to Atlanta, overcoming her isolation has become increasingly more difficult. While she notes a lack of friends, she does attempt to find comfort in family whenever possible. “It’s kinda hard to connect with my family because my brother’s in jail and I got cousins, but I don’t really have family like that,” she explains. “Me and my mom are used to talking to each other and used to finding that entertainment in each other, so it don’t really be that bad.”
Yet, isolation is only part of the picture. Brazy admits that she doesn’t feel like she’s famous, but she doesn’t sound overeager to achieve megastar status either. “If I could do what I do, get my fans, and be, you know, not on social media and alladat, I would definitely do it!” she admits. She balances the desire to be behind the scenes with a love for her fans and an appetite for spreading a positive message.
With focus, Brazy, who has no fear of the future, believes everything else will fall into place.
“If I needed a Plan B or something like that, I would always be straight,” she promises. “I wouldn’t have to worry too much because I could find a hustle. That’s just always been me.”