Carmen Bryan: Behind Enemy Lines, Pt 2

AHHA: So if Jay-Z wouldn't have released Super Ugly, do you think that the two of you would have still been friends to this day?

Carmen: We definitely would still be friends. I knew Jay-Z very well and we even spoke before the song was released. Had he not made reference to my daughter, we’d still be friends. When someone goes after your child, it’s like a lion trying to protect her cub. And through it all he never apologized.

AHHA: In your book you talk about how you were pregnant by Jay-Z and ended up having a miscarriage. Would you have had his child if the miscarriage wouldn’t have occurred?

Carmen: Back then I was like… there’s no way I would have had an abortion. But now that I think about it, I wouldn’t have known unless the miscarriage wouldn’t have happened. I was never in a position where I was like “I’m pregnant.” I didn’t know until I had the miscarriage that I was pregnant. I can only assume what I would have done because after I mentioned it to Jay-Z, afterwards he asked me the same thing. But I can’t even imagine what my life would be like now if I would have had a baby by Jay-Z.

AHHA: Your book was released right between Jay-Z’s and Nas’s latest albums. Was that a coincidence or a strategy ?

Carmen: Here I am again, falling in between these two men. [laughs] Honestly, it just happened to be a coincidence. The book was actually supposed to be released this summer but then it got pushed back. I was just grateful the book was released this year, and it just so happened it got the release date it did.

AHHA: What’s your current relationship like with Nas, because you still have to communicate with him because of your daughter?

Carmen: Nas is like night and day. One minute we’re thick as thieves the next minute we’re at each others throats. Some days he might call and ask how I’m doing then ask to speak to Destiny, but then other days he calls and will just say, “Put my daughter on the phone.” He may have squashed his beef with Jay-Z but he hasn’t quashed it with me. He’s still very resentful and bitter about the whole situation. and I think that the book is increasing that. But what’s ironic is that most people don’t know is that Nas helped outline the beginning of the book. He knew I was writing the book, so I would call him and ask him questions while developing my timeline and trying to put things in chronological order and he’d help me remember things.

He thought the book was a good idea until it became public. Then he starting asking me if I was still sure I wanted to write it, and I told him yes – I wanted to write the book because I had something to say. Then it began to escalate to him telling me that I shouldn’t write the book, it’s a bad idea. And then he began to tell people he hadn’t read the book and it was all a bunch of lies.

AHHA: The other relationships you had when you were with Nas, some people may think that you were used as a pawn, but in essence you could have been the ones using them? What were some of the reasons you saw other people?

Carmen: I was lonely. Nas was off doing promotional tours and doing shows and I was used to us being together 24-7 and then all of a sudden it stopped. That was a huge blow and it hurt. Bumping into Allen Iverson and into Jay-Z, I don’t want to say that I used them, but they did help fill a void. We all have needs and desires. Especially women we require a lot of attention and want to feel love, needed, and appreciated and I’m no different. I felt like I was supposed to meet Allen and Jay-Z, because if I hadn’t, all these different things wouldn’t have happened, and Hip-Hop would be so boring!

AHHA: And not to be repetitive because I know you’ve been asked this question over and over again. Who was the best out of Nas, Jay-Z, and Allen Iverson?

Carmen: If I had to grade them on a scale of 1-10, I would give Nas and Jay-Z both a ten, but for different reasons. But Allen, he knocks both of them out the box.

AHHA: Did any of them have kinky fetishes or do strange things besides Jay-Z, who you said washes his ass like he’s playing a violin?

Carmen: There were no limits with Nas, after all we were in a real live relationship. A.I. could be pretty kinky but that was just a fling, but he didn’t seem to have any pet peeves. And Jay-Z he’s more conventional and a romantic, he’s the type who’s likes to give massages. Now when I see Jay-Z in photos with Beyonce and he’s walking four feet ahead of her or damn near ignoring performing on stage, I look and say, “That’s not the Jay-Z I know.” The Jay-Z I know is super affectionate. He’s just out there frontin’. I’m sure when their at home behind the cameras he’s all over her.

AHHA: How many guys have you been affiliated with in the industry that you really haven’t been with?

Carmen: There’s this on going rumor about me and Pete Rock…whom I’ve never met. There was a rumor that me and Wendy Williams were lovers. My God-sister told me that a rumor about me and Wendy was all over the radio in Virginia before my book even came out. I don’t know who starts these rumors. I heard a rumor about me and 50 Cent, but that’s probably because we have a business relationship.

AHHA: Speaking of Wendy Williams, she helped to stir up a lot of gossip between you and Nas, and you talk about it in your book. What made her your first stop as part of your book tour when she’s never had anything positive to say about you?

Carmen: You know what Wendy deserved the exclusive because she’s been on my trail for six years. When I first heard that I was scheduled to do her show I was like, “Oh hell naw, I’m not doing that b*tches show, f*ck her.” But then I had to tell myself that Wendy has kept my name in the light for at least six years, and has been the only one on the cuff of what has been going on in [my] life. She hasn’t been totally accurate, but she’s been there in the area of my situation. I figured with a radio personality of her stature, who needs a publicist? I felt like she deserved it because she did her homework on me for that long. I wish she would have read my book though, because it would have made for a better interview on her show, she kind of slighted herself by doing that.

AHHA: The story you tell in your book about Beyonce having bad breath. Tell me about that?

Carmen: That was all Nas. The funny thing is Nas asked me to put that part in there. Again like I said he helped me write some of the book, but he called one day and was like, “Carm you got to do this for me. You got to put this in the book because I want Jay-Z to know I could have bagged Beyonce a long time ago, but her hygiene wasn’t up to par.” I was like ok no problem. This was before they reconciled there differences but by then I had already had it in the book.

AHHA: With all the experiences you had with Nas good and bad – from you being deeply in love to having physical confrontations… with him being a conscious rapper, did you ever see him as a hypocrite?

Carmen: Yes, definitely. Don’t get me wrong, Nas is a legend before his time and I will never take away from his talent and skills. I think he is the most conscious MC out, however he is a hypocrite and he contradicts himself. Like one minute he’s talking about the starving babies in Africa and how we need to be responsible, but then the next minute he stops paying child support.

My thing is this, regardless of what happened between us he has a responsibility to his daughter. You can’t just stop paying child support and deny your obligations and that’s what he tried to do. He told me he wasn’t giving me anything anymore. That will always be part of his registry, and his daughter will always know that he had to be forced through the court system to financially help take care of her. But that’s just Nas, and the thing is none of these things occurred because of Destiny, they occurred because of his resentment for me.

AHHA: What was your reaction when you found out Nas was signing with Def Jam?

Carmen: When I found out I said to myself, “Wow…He must really need the money.” People are questioning my motives but there’s no10 million dollar check involved with my book deal. I don’t know what else it could be. I know Nas and I know that it had to take a lot of convincing and persuading to get him over at Def Jam. He didn’t even have to make that move, because he still had his deal with Columbia – but money was involved. Nas is good for jumping ship when the ride is over.

AHHA: Books don’t always mirror what their first draft consisted of. Were they any details or other relationships you put in the book that didn’t make the cut?

Carmen: When you’re dealing with Corporate America, your control is limited. There were a lot of little details they took out [that] I wished they would have kept, so the book reflected an autobiography/love story. I had to fight to make sure that the book didn’t look like a Video Vixen Part II. The way things appear in the book makes me look like I only dealt celebrities and high profile individuals, and that wasn’t the case. There were a few regular guys that I dated in between, and I included them in there because I wanted people to see that there really isn’t any difference between men that have money and guys that don’t have a lot of money. But again, I was dealing Corporate America and they wanted to focus on celebrities while I just wanted to tell my story.

AHHA: Have you braced yourself for do when you daughter gets older and wants to read you book?

Carmen: I talked to Destiny and explained to her that the book contains a lot of adult language and content and she wasn’t allowed to read it until she was 18. I also tell her that if she has any questions to ask me. Things came up when the songs were released, and I explained to her that people use songs to express their frustrations and anger, and that they’re just songs, and we can’t pay attention because we have no control over what others do. We just have to know who we are, despite public scrutiny.

AHHA: Overall, do you think people are going to read your book because they want to know more about you, or more about Nas and Jay-Z?

Carmen: Of course most people want to know more about Nas and Jay-Z because they are the ones who introduced me to them. They enticed their own fans with the story. Now that they’ve reconciled their differences and doing business together, my book is relevant. Relevant to those who have been interested in the drama for so long. Now the answers are in the book. People might not be interested in my world, but you have no choice to pick up on me.

AHHA: What’s in the future for Carmen Bryan?

Carmen: Well, as of late I have been trying to transform my book into a Hip-Hop musical, and I also have a men’s make-up line called Experience Cosmetics launching in Spring 2007. And nothing is in stone yet, but I am also working out the logistics for a reality show that will possibly be under VH1 or G-Unit Productions. It will cover me on a five-city book tour in the South, the backlash, the aftermath and my home life, as well as other things.

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