A Houston rapper widely believed to have been the originator of Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money ” is accusing her ex-boyfriend beating her up while armed with a pistol. TMZ first broke the story on July 26 that alleged rapper Z-Ro had been arrested for beating up his girlfriend, Just Brittany aka Brittany Bullock. The alleged attack took place in April 2017. It’s not clear why charges have only been brought now. Z-Ro was arrested for felony aggravated assault. He is free after posting a $50,000 bond but he must remain 200 feet from Brittany.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Z-Ro Allegedly Told Brittany, ‘You’re Dead’ During the Attack
TMZ reports that on April 29, Z-Ro and Brittany were planning to go on a date to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Houston. When they learned that the restaurant was closed, Brittany went to Z-Ro’s home. After conversing for a while, she says the beating began. The TMZ report says that the alleged attack lasted for at least 90 minutes because that’s when Brittany started recording the attack.
Among the clips taken from the recording, according to TMZ, include Z-Ro telling Brittany that, “You’re dead.” While another recorded him telling her, “Get your f***ing hands from around my neck.” That recording lasted for another 21 minutes.
News of the arrest coincides with her appearance on VH-1’s series Signed. The show debuted on July 26 with a blog on VH-1’s website accusing Brittany of having an attitude problem. Though a separate blog post noted that Rick Ross, one of the mentors on the show to a group of unsigned rappers, was mesmerized by Brittany’s confidence.
2. Brittany Says She ‘Appreciated Inspiring Someone of the Stature of Rihanna’
In 2015, rumors emerged that Rihanna had plagiarized her hit, “Bitch Better Have My Money, from Brittany’s “Betta Have My Money.” Brittany said about the controversy that she “appreciated inspiring someone of the stature of Rihanna.” Though Brittany noted that it would have been nice if Rihanna had put her on a remix.
Though, Brittany was always so cordial about the controversy. In a now-deleted March 30, 2015 tweet, Brittany said Rihanna had “jacked” her song. While another message promoting the song on iTunes reminded fans that it came out “before” Rihanna’s song, according to Complex.
The Guardian noted in their report on the alleged plagiarism that both songs drew the line from the 1977 blaxploitation film, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.
3. Prior to Getting Into Music, Brittany Was a Stripper
Brittany told blog Real Vicious in 2011 that prior to getting into hip-hop, she worked as a stripper while referring to it as an “Entertainer.”
Yes I used to be an entertainer. Its nothing that got me into it I just started doing it. People try to tear down that being a entertainer is a bad thing, but in actuality its not. Its nothing that is illegal and as long as you carry yourself as a young lady and do the right things with your money then that’s all that matters.
But being an entertainer is what paid the way through my career. I invested in myself. If i hadn’t invested in myself I don’t think I would be as far as I am today.
At the beginnings of her hip-hop career, Brittany was signed to Cash Money but later left without producing an album for the brand.
In a 2014 interview with Arena, Brittany spoke about women’s role in the world of hip-hop. Brittany said:
I would say I’m a hip-hop artist, but I’m also a hip-pop — I rap, but that’s not my thing. Rapping is a hobby for me, but I like to sing, so I kinda do both in one.
As far as the greats like Trina and everybody else, and Nicki too, I feel like in the industry — in the male-dominated industry — it’s hard for a female to really respect what she’s doing and understand where she’s trying to go. It’s just different struggles that come with a female trying to get to where she wants to go because of the industry.
According to her bio on her website Brittany is a native of Houston’s Fifth Ward neighborhood on the city’s north side. That bio reads, “Just Brittany discovered early on that her passion for music would drive her to pursue her dreams as an entertainer. Inspired by the influences of her mother, gospel legend Yolanda Adams, Beyonce’, and Lana Del Rey, JB refined her talents, creating her own unique sound.”
That profile also says that Brittany graduated high school at 16 and was her class valedictorian.
4. Brittany Said About Z-Ro in 2014, ‘He’s the Nicest Person Ever’
Among the many collaborations between Z-Ro and Brittany is a 2017 song, “Mama Should’ve Told Me.” XXL Magazine reported in November 2016 that Brittany was one of only rappers that guested on his album, Legendary.
Brittany told Arena in 2014 that working with Z-Ro was “great” and that:
He is a real friend to me. He is one of my good friends and he is a mentor, and he will hate that I say this, but he is the nicest person ever to me in person.
He’s like, “You better not tell nobody I’m nice!” (Laughs) But nah, Z-Ro is a really good person and he really supports me just coming up in the game.
It was in a September 2015 appearance on 97.9 The Box Houston where Z-Ro first addressed the rumors that he and Brittany were a couple. Z-Ro admitted the pair were “partners.” He added, “I can’t help that she’s shaped like what she’s shaped like.” The rapper went on to mainly talk about the pair’s professional collaborations.
While in June 2016, Brittany told Juicy Hip Hop that she and Z-Ro merely had a good relationship. In her 2011 interview with Real Vicious, Brittany said, “I cant speak on other women, but a word of advice is don’t look for a significant other let them come to you.” She also made reference to the rumors that she was dating Birdman saying, “Brian and I never dated, he’s like a big brother mentor and close friend to me.”
5. In 2007, Z-Ro Was Named as One of the Most Underrated Rappers in America by the New York Times
In a May 2007 piece about the state of hip-hop, the New York Times referred to Z-Ro as one the most underrated rappers in America. At the time of the article, Z-Ro was in prison on a possession of a controlled substance charge. The Times article read, “This bluesy Houston hip-hop star must be one of America’s most underrated rappers. Since the late 1990s, Z-Ro has been releasing brilliant albums and mixtapes at an impossible pace, often more than one a year.”