Timbaland's new album Shock Value II is an excellent mix of styles that features a veritable who's who of hip-hop, R&B, pop and rock stars lending their voices to Tim's futuristic funk. Justin Timberlake, Drake, Keri Hilson, Miley Cyrus, Nelly Furtado, Daughtry and Chad Kroeger from Nickelback all make appearances on the eclectic record. But perhaps the most intriguing guest spots come from Bran' Nu, the rap persona of singer Brandy, who has traded in her silky-smooth coo for a tougher rap sound on Shock Value II's "Meet in tha Middle" and "Symphony."
The new persona — even the name — was created and nurtured by Tim himself. "What I'm doing on the album is a little bit different than what everybody knows me for," Brandy said. "I'm rapping on the album. Timbaland endorsed that. He changed my name to Bran' Nu. He really gave me a shot to be different and be versatile. I can't thank him enough for that. This is a wonderful opportunity. I'm blessed to be here."
Timbaland told MTV News that he hopes that Brandy's new album — which he is producing — will feature an equal balance of singing and rapping. In any case, Bran' Nu acquitted herself nicely at Timbaland's Verizon- and Blackberry-sponsored album release party in Miami Beach last Saturday (December 5). But you don't have to take Tim's word for it — check out her spitting for yourself in the clip below.