There’s a conspiracy behind the knowledge of what happened to R&B singer/songwriter Brandon Hines, who made a name for himself on campus while attending Howard University in the mid-2000’s and working closely with Trey Songz, Ryan Leslie, and Jermaine Dupri. The Detroit-born then emerging star started buzzing on the scene after releasing his first project, Love Music…Falling In, Falling Out, less then a year after R&B heartthrob Trey Songz arrived with his debut album, I Gotta Make It. Brandon managed to move a staggering 10,000 copies of his 2006 mixtape before leaving Howard his senior year to pursue music full-time.
Brandon met Trey at a Cingular Wireless HBCU “Back to School” tour he had a part in back in September of 2005 while Trigga was promoting his debut album (I Gotta Make It came out that July via Songbook/Atlantic Records), and since B. Hines was a big Trey fan at the time, singing along all the words to his music while Trey performed for the college, Brandon eventually made his way backstage to make the connection with Songz camp and as you know, the rest is history. Shortly after their meeting, Brandon joined Songz production company, Songbook Entertainment unofficially and started collaborating on music with the then 21-year-old budding star. The result: songs like “Different” and “Bounce Back” were created during those recording sessions. Now, we’ve all heard the rumors of the alleged relationship between Brandon Hines and Trey Songz all on the blogs years ago, and according to our sources some believe Brandon even alluded to those claims behind-the-scenes (a reference to that maybe found in his single, “Yes You Are”). Dissect these lyrics, if you will:
I’m well aware that we’re a pair that’s supposed to be…
This is deeper than love says our astrology
See I’m an Aries and you’re a Sagittarius
It reads right here..that you the one that’s gonna take it there with us
Brandon is an Aries and Trey is a Sagittarius. A lot of people grew familiar with the former HBCU alumni after Trey put him on the map, and he was well on his way to success as a solo artist before he vanished into obscurity without warning.
After making an amicable decision to part ways with Songbook, Brandon severed ties with Troy Taylor (producer who founded and signed Trey Songz in 2003) and went on to work with Ryan Leslie and his NextSelection production company to cultivate his songwriting ability while penning songs for Leslie’s then artist Cassie. The short stint eventually led to him meeting music industry veteran Jermaine Dupri, which resulted in the Young Marvin Gaye-inspired star signing a deal in 2011 with So So Def in conjunction with Revel and L.A. Reid’s Epic Records. In 2012, he released his first single, “Yes You Are,” with a music video directed by Benny Boom but shortly thereafter, we heard very little from the promising and talented artist.
Could his much talked about rumored romantic relationship with Trey have sabotaged his reputation as a bonafide recording artist who was well on his way to the top? Do you think he was blackballed from the industry, or could it have been jealously? Of course, the very similarities to Tremaine are obvious, whether you’re comparing their images or the content of their sexualized musical content. It would be hard for any major record label to have the two co-exist in the same market around the same time. But still, you have to raise your eyebrow at the fact that he fell off the radar almost overnight. Brandon even went absent from all of his social media platforms, including Twitter, where he had garnered 22.4k followers. In 2013, he revealed he was now in a band called Olive White, alongside producer/partner Justin Pommer. “Olive white is the next new shit- Get ready!!! It’s Justin Pommer and Brandon Hines – get fuckin familiar!!!”
Olive white is the next new shit- Get ready!!! It’s Justin Pommer and Brandon Hines – get fuckin familiar!!!
— Brandon Hines (@bhinesthereal) November 4, 2013
The LA-based duo have went on to release their first project, Remember When I Met You? last year featuring the break-out cuts “Steak” and “Never Sleep Again.” Typically, most artists who reemerge introducing a new identity, alias, moniker or even join a band/group is because their career didn’t take off how they predicted it to. But in this particular case, do you think its because of the past rumors tied to him? Brandon was a marketing major at Howard who created quite the fan base for himself throughout the years, even before his cosigns to heavyweights like Trey and Jermaine. He was already a huge phenom on MySpace and YouTube at a time when the music business was heading towards all digital and streaming, creating much anticipation for his debut. It’s unfortunate that its been plagued with negativity and we haven’t heard much in the past 5 years from an artist who was as gifted as him.
My industry sources in Los Angeles have told me that the young crooner has suffered from drug addiction and even hinted at him being homeless at some point and running into him at a Jack in the Box restaurant out there looking strung out a few years ago. The news bothered me because I wondered how does one go from high to low with what appeared to be a bright future? Brandon Hines had so much potential and was on the brink of being music’s next biggest urban star had his cards been dealt the right way. Many can blame one’s lack of success to resources, but clearly that wasn’t his case. Some may even say that it could be the record label, or even management and so on. But I believe its more then what you think or what they tell you. It has to be nerve wracking for an artist of a certain caliber to go from rags to nearly riches, to back to square one and never really reaching their peak. Is it possible to ever make a real comeback? Do they give up after a while? Or do they keep fighting for what they believe in and passionate about? Artists are some of the most extremely sensitive beings you’ll ever encounter. Most of them wear their hearts on their sleeves and stand strongly behind their creativity, because sometimes its all they have. In Brandon’s case, how much of it do you think was his own doing, or that of his team and industry? Do you believe rumors of homosexuality and linked ties possibly got the R&B star blacklisted? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
You can also check out a lot of Brandon Hines unreleased music here.
I just got word from a very close insider friend (who shall remain nameless), who also happens to be a singer that says Brandon suffers from schizophrenia and even detailed a particular situation, which I will not get into. Another close source said they ran into him on the street out in LA back in February and he appeared to be fine. We really hope all is well with Brandon and will be in touch with his family and those close to him.