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Brynesha “Talone” Seegers isn’t your typical reality TV star. She’s also a talented rapper and the mother of adorable twin daughters. Talone appeared on Season 16 of the hit Oxygen Network series The Bad Girls Club—a show that places seven attractive and combative young women into a luxurious mansion and keeps the cameras rolling around the clock to capture the inevitable drama that occurs. As you can imagine, the situation usually devolves into chaos within a few days, and the network racks up high ratings while the girls end up looking like fools.
But Talone, who went by Brynesha on the show, flipped the script. She planned from the beginning to use this opportunity as a platform to launch her musical career. She sacrificed precious quality time with her daughters to move to Los Angeles and market her skills to a national audience. And it didn’t take long for her to show what she could do: On the second episode, Talone and her castmates went to a local club where she confidently grabbed the mic and impressed everyone with her fierce lyrics.
Still, Talone did get involved in her share of dramatic confrontations. Despite her diminutive stature, she literally fought her way to the top of the BGC hierarchy, refusing to back down to the other girls verbally or physically. And she was definitely the most charismatic cast member. She even brought her own “Sha-popping” style of talking into the household.
Talone recently released a new mixtape Sha Underestimated, whose title pays respect to her trademark vernacular and her lifelong status as the underdog. She has faced tremendous adversity and refused to become a statistic. She knows the struggle of being a single mother, the despair of losing a sibling to sickle cell anemia, and the grind of being an MC in a city that hasn’t produced a commercially successful female rapper since Nonchalant in 1996. Talone’s powerful words speak for every woman who feels unappreciated or marginalized living in a patriarchal society.
The first song on the mixtape, appropriately called “Sha Intro,” features Talone spitting incendiary bars, boldly proclaiming, “I am not like these other rap bitches,” and even taking shots at the D.C. music establishment, “Living in the city they hate on you you’ll never make it/ If you wait for them to support you/ Promoters are being shady.”
Each track of Talone’s musical diary is dripping with emotion, whether it’s about lost love (“Life Goes On”), disloyal friends (“Fake Love”), or a heart wrenching anti-abortion ode (“I Apologize”). Talone is honest almost to a fault, bravely confronting her fears and revealing her innermost vulnerabilities.
Talone’s strengths are her fluid intonation and her willingness to tackle heavy subject matter, but sometimes the topics can become predictable. For example, “In My Feelings,” “For Granted,” and “Fairytale Guy” are all moderately paced songs about unfaithful men—solid lyrical material but a little bit redundant.
Talone puts in her finest work when she picks up the tempo. “Sha Nasty” is a delightfully steamy romp about Talone’s bedroom candy. And one of the best tunes on the mixtape is “I Can’t Trust,” a lively stunner featuring Lundy (aka London Dior), a brilliant D.C. female rapper who sadly lost her life in a car accident a few weeks ago.
The final song is “Dear Honest and Trinity,” a love letter to her daughters (“When I see you smile it makes everything worth it/ When I see you dancing it reminds me of the purpose”). It’s a touching ballad that makes you understand why Talone’s unique brand of black girl magic isn’t just a hashtag or a supernatural quality. It’s the ability to endure everything life throws at you, whether that’s being a single parent or the tragic deaths of loved ones, and not just survive, but win—and right now Talone is winning.