So Wait, Ray J Was In A Gang?


This week’s Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business was all about Sonja bonding with her children. She took Brandy camping, where hilarity ensued via faux-hitchhiking and a fake snake, and she took Ray J to visit their old neighborhood in Carson, California. Outside the house where Ray spent the bulk of his childhood, Sonja was filled in on a few details she missed while out on the road with Brandy. She learned about parties, that Ray frequently sneaked out of the house and that his friends carried guns. Though Ray (or editing) kept things vague, he did concede, “I was to the point where I was gonna get shot or killed, ’cause I was at that point.” Um, what? Did anyone have any idea that while his sister was selling millions of albums, Ray J was growing up fast on the mean streets of Carson, California? Can you even picture that now?

The episode contained a few more references to Ray’s “activities,” his friends doing things they weren’t supposed to do and toward the end there was mention that Ray was “associated with a gang,” whatever that means (really the explanation started and ended there). Ray admitted, “We weren’t bad like some of the kids. We was just not good.” This is a trip back in time not just for Ray, but for us: this is “Things That Make You Go Hmmmm”-retroism at its most head-scratching!

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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  1. VH1 Fan says:

    Brandy’s friend, Shay, is SO ANNOYING!!!!! WHY DID THE MOM HIRE HER????

  2. Diamond says:

    I don’t know why Ray J is trying to act as though Carson Calif would have been the “DEATH” of him. For those of you who don’t know Carson Calif is not bad at all. And to let it be known, No one wanted Ray J. Neither the Crips or the Bloods so I don’t know why he’s trying to act like he was so damn tough and has done so much because he isn’t and he hasn’t. He needs to stop being so arrogant and $&#**^$&&$#@^#_^ y.

  3. Los says:

    He’s trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. His problems growing up weren’t because of the city he lived in, but because of his oversize ego. He was Brandy’s brother and thought he was the sh*t in a small town.

  4. Jay says:

    That Samoans are the real bangers in Carson but it not that bad of a city but it does have its moments its not Mayberry by and means it right by Compton and Long Beach.
    Mofos hate Ray J. lol

  5. doctor says:

    this family needs too seek therapy Willie Sr wont claim his son Sonya wont claim her wrong doing to her kids never says she has love for her only granddaughter Now Ray thinks he was a thug ha, Brandy has got caught up in the wrong family

  6. chrissygirl says:

    I really enjoy watching “Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business.” Before watching the show, I didn’t think I liked Sonja. She seemed to be “stuck up” from the interviews I had read about her. But since watching the show, I am a fan of Sonja’s. I relate to her in every aspect of her life. I am a mature woman who not only put my life on the “back burner” for my children, but also for my grandchildren. Sonja, I identified with you when you said “I will go down for my children.” I admire you for being A STRONG BLACK WOMAN! But, more than that, I am loving me some Willie, Sr.!!! That man is some kind of handsome!!! He has sex appeal galore!!! He is also a patient and kind man, one that loves him some Sonja!!

    Ray J: I think that was an excellent idea you had about the golf balls!! You should pursue that idea. If I had the resources, I would certainly beat you to it!

    Oh, one thing: Ray J you are spoiled!!! But I love you and Brandy too.

    I love your show, keep up the good work, family!!!

  7. DeeDee says:

    Sonja is bias when it comes to her children. She broke down into tears over regrets of not being around during Ray Js youth & profusely apologized. Mind you Ray J is not upset w/his mother for that nor askin for apologies. But in reply to Brandy Sonja says that Brandy needs to forgive her for not being able to always play the motherly role. Although Bran is the one reachin out and asking for the apologies & love. Even @ dinner she cuts off Bran while she’s expressing wht the campn trip meant to her to focus on Ray. Willie took the words out my mouth thts old news & nothin to focus on. Mind you Carson isn’t the hood lmao! Also most every young boy growin up in La or neighboring hoods is at some point gang related. Get over it Sonja..u actin.

    Brandy beautiful voice always been such a unique sound I love porcelain doll! Bst of luck
    Ray always have been entertainin..jst cracks me up every week! Shows a gold mine no more datin shows pls lol

  8. bxjam85 says:

    Ray was a Centerview Piru. Carson isn’t the worst city in L.A. county, but it has its gang territories and rough spots like every city.

  9. TruFan2010 says:

    Boy, these shows are telling. Is that true, is Ray J maybe not Ray Sr’s son?

    What was more surprising was they forget that they’re on camera. Once at the dinner table Ray Sr’s facial expression spoke volumes. When Sonja stood over Ray Sr. with her “dirty-look” expression that spoke volumes too. Sonja finds things to keep distance between her and Ray Sr. It’s obvious that she is not “in love” with him. Ray Sr. tries hard to make Sonja feel special. He’ll get tired one day.

    Furthermore, it’s so obvious that Sonja has some resentment somewhere concerning Brandy. She doesn’t even look at her the same way she looks at Ray J. She starts crying about something that happend years ago that she had no control over. She cries, and then gets weepy eyed again at the dinner table and to top it off she wanted to get on their knees and pray. Something is wrong with this picture.

    Brandy is asking for her mother’s heart and doesn’t get it. Ray J shows Sonja lots of attention. You can tell who controls the money in the house. Maybe Sonja resents Brandy for keeping her away from her “baby” Ray J when he was growing up.

    It was uncomfortable to watch.

  10. Tiff Young says:

    I even told Ray J that I was shocked but not surprised at the fact that he was in a gang at that age. If Bran got away with things too at that age or whenever, why are we not hearing about it?

  11. nene milk says:

    Ray J wish he was hardcore

  12. nene milk says:

    Ray J is so fake he is not from no gang he try’s so hard that is so fake He needs to be himself and not try to act like something he’s not.. just sing and that’s it

  13. tonya brown says:

    I think that he was running with a bad crew back in the day. you can tell by his swagger.Ray j is not a nut and he is not gonna let you play with him. you see the people that he rolls with for God’s sake he is snoop dogg’s first cousin !!! I love you ray j keep on doing what you are doing becaue it is working for you(in my jaime foxx voice!)

  14. tracee says:

    I can believe that Ray j was in a gang, look at his swagger Ray j is not a nut and he is not gonna let you play with him. I love me some Ray j that (_#%&@+*&~&+_@!$*` is smooth we call him Joe Smooth in my hood and we are from philly the straight hood and we #((%~$*$*)@_$%@$ s with Ray j real hard Ray j keep doing what you doing because it is working for you (in my jaime foxx voice)

  15. hanneke says:

    After I watched another VH1 special about the Hollywood Cougar’s……I was surprised to hear that Ray J is having an affair (possibly dating) Whitney Houston. So now I wonder….is Ray J really as talented as he makes us think or is Whitney his ticket to the big time????

    And please Ray J pull up your pants, I hate watching you guys’ underwear.

    I was a fan but after watching the “For the love of Ray J” and to see how these women were used for his own financial gain, without any respect for these women’s feelings, I personally think Ray J needs to learn respect and maybe taking a class in English might help as well.

    I believe Ray J has a big ego and is using his sister Brandy to climb to the top. RAY J …….you are annoying, get over yourself, you are one big Mama;s boy!!!!!!

  16. Lisa C. says:

    I really wish Sonya would let go of Ray J and let that boy be a man. I can’t stand mama’s boys. Every show, it seems like she’s babying him. Let it go Sonya. Just let it go.

  17. Frances says:

    I enjoyed the show, I just want to say Sonja I love you and Willie you guys have done what alot of parents wish they could have or should done, Sonja girl stand your ground it does not or should not matter what I say or what the world say only GOD have the final judgement and his WORD is the only one that count…peace and blessing,hey, my people are from natchez, mississippi, im not saying were cousin but we are all brothers and sisters thru CHRIST JESUS AND THE CHURCH SAY AMEN.!!!!

  18. Regina says:

    Sonja and Willie,

    God is very proud of what you have done with keeping your family together. Koodos to you both!