Brown gets her lyrical groove on

By Jimmy Johnson

Some people just know Bianca Brown as a member of the NIU women’s basketball team.

But there’s another passionate persona of the senior guard.

That other side is her rapping personality, “Lyric.”

Brown took the form of her hip-hop alter ego Tuesday night when she performed at The House Cafe. Before she went on stage, it was obvious that she was anxious to get the show started.

“I always feel some anxiety and stress,” Brown said.

Once the beat began and she became center of attention, those nerves soon vanished.

Friends, patrons and members of NIU’s Hip-Hop Congress, which she recently became a member of, were treated with an enthusiastic 20 minute show.

As a student athlete, there are some expectations for how one can conduct themselves. Brown uses hip-hop as a way to convey her emotions, struggles and other feelings – something that she says she can’t do with basketball.

“I feel there are a lot of things in sports that you can’t always say and you can’t always do,” Brown said. “With music, I feel like I can be me without changing who I am and still aspire others and get across [what I’m expressing].”

Brown noted another difference from rapping and playing on the hardwood floor.

“Playing on the court, it’s just not you,” Brown said. “You have got to worry about the four other people coming in, plus the other people coming in and the coach. On that stage, the only person I got to worry about is “Lyric.” If I don’t perform the way I want to, it’s because of me.”

Brown said she started rapping when she was 14 and that her sister, who also raps, inspired her to take a shot at being a “mic” performer.

One of her peers hopes she pursues music farther.

“I hope so,” said Hip-Hop Congress member Brent Abas, who briefly performed with Brown on stage. “From one MC to another, I hope she continues to do this.”

The Detroit, Mich. native has big ambitions of taking her music to the next level someday.

“I’m not putting in all this work in for nothing,” Brown said. “Now am I realistic? Yes. I have primary objectives that don’t concern music or basketball. But at the same time, I feel like if I have the talent, I’m obligated to optimize it or to utilize it the best way I can.”