Don’t mess with Brandy! Though you may associate “The Boy Is Mine” as being both Brandy and Monica’s song, the former wants you to know that it’s not hard to see the song is hers. The “I Wanna Be Down” singer co-wrote the hit alongside LaShawn Daniels, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, Fred Jerkins III, and Japhe Tejeda, and it was actually initially recorded as a solo track for the star (which leaked online). Per Los Angeles Times, when Brandy and Darkchild listened back to the track, they realized it was better served as a duet.
Monica was clearly pretty proud of her input on the song, even naming her second album after it. Though it sounds like that wasn’t necessarily her idea. Producer Dallas Austin explained to Los Angeles Times in 1998 that it actually came courtesy of Arista Records President Clive Davis, explaining, “We wanted to reflect that it was a duet, not just a song on Brandy’s album featuring Monica.”
But don’t get it confused. Brandy still very much considers herself to have ownership over the duet. Back in 2018, she made that oh so clear during a performance at Essence Festival when she changed the lyrics of the song to reflect that fact. Per Vibe, instead of singing “The boy is mine,” the star instead told the crowd, “The song is mine.” She also told attendees, “I have to claim what’s mine. If I don’t have the boy, I have the song.” Oop!