"Who y'all know rock Prada like Fox, pop bottles in the back of the cellar with Donatella" Inga "Foxy Brown" Marchand crowed on "Oh Yeah" featuring Spragga Benz. This song was the first single from her third full-length album Broken Silence --"one of hip-hop's most slept-on releases" according to Complex Magazine-- but, it also further confirmed another relationship Brown devoted her time to for almost seven years, one with Italian designers.
The link between the rapper and the luxury fashion houses across the pond dates back to 1995 after the Brooklyn native caught the attention of hip-hop production duo Trackmasters at a talent show. This unearthing eventually afforded Brown an opportunity to join Fat Joe, Keith Murray and Prodigy from Mobb Deep on LL Cool J's "I Shot Ya" remix where she dropped the line "Fuck it, Gucci sweaters and Armani leathers. Flossin rocks like the size of Fort Knox four carats, the ice rocks, pussy bangin like Versace locs pops." The relationship blossomed from there. Besides being "dripped in Gabbana" on her Top 40 single "I'll Be," Brown steered clear of flaunting labels on her first album Ill Na Na however, her features at the time of her debut told a different story. A Dolce and Gabbana plug found it's way on Puff Daddy's --now known as Diddy-- Remix to Total's "No One Else." On Nas' "Affirmative Action" Brown was laced in Armani sweaters and Prada was snatched on DJ Clue's "That's The Way". Later in her career, Moschino, Emilio Pucci and Fendi were touched upon, but Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci remained staple brand mentions in her lyrics. It's true that Hip-Hop as a genre has loved European brands for some time now. Biggie and Tupac were unofficial spokesmen for Versace in the 90's, and The Lox were the face for Iceberg Jeans. Even in today's music, you can't listen to an EP or LP without hearing "Alexander McQueen, Prada, Gucci, Chanel D&G, BCBG, Versace, Louie and BeBe." Foxy, however, opted to pinpoint the brands that called Milan home --except for Christian Dior, after all, she was the dark skin poster girl for the Parisian brand.
A slew of legal troubles between the year 2000 and 2007 could arguably be the cause for Foxy's decline. After Broken Silence, features with more mainstream artist slowed down and the female MC failed to release another album. But, it's safe to assume that her love for Italian made designer ready-to-wear, shoes and luxe accessories continue to exist, and who knows, maybe we'll see "Na Na rock that shit, Pra-da that shit" and "Dolce Gabba that shit" one more time.