Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business Recap – Episode 7 – 31 Is The New 30


Brandy’s turning 31…


…but don’t tell her T-shirt that!

So, supposedly, Brandy’s 30th birthday was “wack.” She implies that this was a result of Ray J not coming through. Is she implying that the West Coast Party King is less than omnipotent? That is harrowing news that shakes up my entire world view.


Well, he can still eat standing up, so he’s at least retaining some of his powers.

Brandy and her friends seem to come up with the idea of celebrating her birthday in Miami. Ray’s in. He agrees to “go hard” for Brandy’s special day and pledges, “We gonna hit Miami like a thunderstorm.” Not a hurricane, though. I guess there’s a difference between going hard and devastating.

Speaking of the latter, though, Brandy requests that Flo Rida be invited. A perfect setup to have her heart rained on!

Brandy packs for Miami. We get a peek into her closet, which seems to carry enough bangles to fill a Claire’s Boutique.


The funniest bit of this Miami preparation occurs when Ray attempts to convince Sonja and Willie to join them in Florida. An unlikely, very frustrating English lesson ensues:


Ray: I said y’all wasn’t gonna come…
Sonja: You weren’t gonna come
Ray: You was NOT gonna come.
Sonja: You weren’t gonna come
Ray: You wasn’t gon’ get there.
Sonja: You weren’t!
Ray: You weren’t.
Sonja: Right.

He got it! He actually got it! Now in addition to the West Coast Party King, Ray J is the West Coast Grammar King. Boo ya!

West meets South when the Brandy birthday entourage touches down in Miami. From the start, everything is lovely and poppin’ (thanks to the champagne and its cork than Ray’s ruling, probably).


Meanwhile at home…


…Sonja wears a T-shirt featuring something she said during the first season of For the Love of Ray J. I was going to call it her “catchphrase,” but I think Amy Winehouse might have a thing or two to say (or at this point, I guess mumble incoherently) about that. I would love to see them battle it out for claim over “No! No! No!” I have a feeling that Winehouse would win for sheer willingness to bite and/or spit blood like one of the rage zombies of 28 Days Later.

Ray J contacts a party promoter about Brandy’s extended birthday celebration. The most interesting thing about this scene is that the camera stays focused on the upper part of Ray’s face for a good 10 seconds.


I wonder if this is a subliminal bid to get Ray on Proactiv commercials. Lovely, lovely skin.

Then he and Ryan attempt to strategize on how Brandy should be presented with the $10,000 in cash that he plans to give her.


This concern is legitimate. When giving someone $10,000, you must do it with finesse, lest they reject it and embarrass you. People are very particular when it comes to receiving money.

At dinner, a discussion regarding the battle of the sexes takes place.


Brandy says she has discovered that she likes guys that pose a challenge. Like, say, the type of guy who invites you to the Grammys and then disinvites you. That’s otally hot.

Then, the best scene of the episode (besides Ray’s grammar lesson): Ray wants to hire some sexy dudes to carry Brandy out to the pool, but then realizes that he has to select said the sexy dudes, and sexy dudes are not exactly in his area of interest.

In the face (and pecs and belly buttons) of this…



…Ray’s all…


…but I’m not! Here’s some more!




These may be the most exciting screencaps I’ve ever taken. Oh, and the one directly above with the shaved head is totally the hottest. I wouldn’t just hire him to carry me, but my baggage as well. That’s not a euphemism and I’m not being pervy. I’m not supposed to lift things, a la George Rekers.

Anyway, Shay is brought in to help with the selection.


Shay loves her life.


Like, really, really loves it.

Apparently, everyone gets hired and Shay escorts the shirtless dudes to Brandy’s room. I know nothing of the interests of these men, but it looks like a mini Pride Parade.


Brandy cannot believe her luck!


She says, “I’ve never been around seven good-looking guys at the same time with their shirts off,” and I’m all, “Well, I guess she’s never been to a gay club.” And then she continues, “…carrying me like I’m some kind of queen or something,” and I’m still all, “Well, I guess she’s never been to a gay club.”


And now, she at least knows what going to a gay club feels like.


Who’s got two thumbs and enjoys being carried around by shirtless dudes?


Who doesn’t? (Except people who aren’t into dudes, and even then, they’d probably get a kick out of this if they were comfortable enough with themselves.)

Anyway, the shirtless dudes hang around and party with the entourage.


So that’s fortunate. Brandy calls Sonja to…I don’t know? Wish herself a happy birthday? Anyway, Sonja’s busy! She ignores Brandy’s call.


I guess after dodging those favoritism allegations, Sonja got comfortable again.

The money arrives…


..and, phew, Brandy’ll take the $10,000. Close one, right? Then an airplane banner advertising tonight’s festivities goes by…


At this, Brandy breaks down.


She says she feels truly appreciated. It’s amazing, the power of planes. But really, feeling appreciated is an issue that repeatedly comes up with Brandy. Kinda makes you wonder if instead of a destination blowout featuring a cash prize, a handwritten card would have sufficed.

But whatever! They’re going big! And to Mansion!


Flo Rida does end up attending the party…


(I love the weird mix of specificity and generality in his billing, btw.)


He’s standoffish as ever…


And after he mumbles, “Glad I saw you, I’ll talk to you later,” Brandy interviews, “It’s just better for us to be friends” with all the complications of paparazzi, etc. Sometimes closure is the best gift of all. You don’t even need a princess crown to appreciate it.

Related content
Our exclusive Brandy and Willie Norwood video interview
Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business show page
Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business videos and extras

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