Ray J Says Rift Between Brandy and Monica Was '100% Real': They Were 'Being Competitive'

Monica and Brandy teamed up in 2020 for an epic 'Verzuz' battle

<p>Amy Sussman/Getty; Frazer Harrison/Getty; Prince Williams/Wireimage</p> Brandy, Ray J and Monica

Amy Sussman/Getty; Frazer Harrison/Getty; Prince Williams/Wireimage

Brandy, Ray J and Monica

In the late '90s, Brandy and Monica's beef was the talk of the town. They've since reconciled — but Brandy's brother Ray J says it was no act.

During an appearance on the Club Shay Shay podcast on Wednesday, June 5, Ray J, 43, opened up about the rift between Monica and Brandy after they collaborated on "The Boy Is Mine" in 1998.

At one point in the episode, Ray J said that he could see a Brandy, 45, and Monica, 43, doing a headlining tour in the future.

"I got that dream," he said. "That tour needs to happen."

Host Shannon Sharpe then went on to ask if their rumored feud was "manufactured" — or in fact real.

"That was 100% real," Ray J replied. "Whatever it is, I don't know."

"I just think being competitive," Ray J added of the reason behind it. "I don't know anything other than that — but just the competitiveness of it and then you got your squad and her squad both supporting each side. But then you have the one record that can't pretty much be touched."

Related: Monica Opens Up About Joining Forces with Brandy for 'Verzuz' Battle: 'She Is an Icon'

After the release of their hit song, a rumor broke out that the singers had a fight backstage while rehearsing for a performance at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards. During a radio interview in 2021, Monica confirmed a physical altercation did happen, according to E!.

That same year, the singer's reunited for another collaboration called "It All Belongs to Me."

In 2020, the R&B singers teamed up for an epic Verzuz battle, where they admitted that before appearing on the show, they hadn't spoken for eight years.

"Well, here's the thing. People, you know, were picking apart every second of every facial expression, right? How we moved and what we said, but you realize that's the first time we had been in each other's space — in any capacity — for almost a decade," Monica told PEOPLE (the TV Show!).

"But what I love about it is it opened the floodgates to the conversations that needed to be had between the two of us," she added. "Brandy is a legend. She is an icon and she is to be respected."

Speaking to their past, Monica said that people "were putting us against each other before we ever were in the same room."

"As we got older, we realized that we could control what that narrative was. And we kind of took the bull by the horns after Verzuz," she added.

Related: Brandy and Monica Collab for Nostalgic TikTok Reenactment of 'The Boy Is Mine': 'Love You Mo'

Before they did the battle, Monica told Brandy that she had been looking forward to the opportunity to speak face-to-face.

"The more we were talked about, the more it came to be difficult, unnecessarily. I really, really am a straight shooter and I really do admire what you've done musically and what you've had to endure personally," she said during the friendly battle.

"I have the utmost love and respect for you as well, for somebody to start at 12 years old," added Brandy. "The longevity of your career, nobody [knows] what you've been through."

In 2021, Brandy shared a sweet TikTok of the duo lip-synching the introduction to "The Boy Is Mine."

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