Brooke Knows Best
By Gregory Miller
Chances are when you're the daughter of Hulk Hogan and you decide you want to be a singer, you've got more to prove than the average aspiring pop star. A tough task for sure, but Brooke Hogan has been toiling away at it for years, much of the time under the omnipresent eye of of the media and the television-viewing masses. Her hit reality TV show, Brooke Knows Best, a spin off of Hogan Knows Best is in its second season on VH1, she's just released her sophomore album, The Redemption, and on top of all that, she's been dealing with her parents' public, bitter divorce and other assorted tabloid craziness. We caught up with Brooke to find out about her new album, why she loves Britney as much as you do, and her recent venture into lesbianism.
Out: You've been through a lot over the past year, much of it in the public eye. How have the changes in your life affected the sound of your new record?
Brooke Hogan: First of all, the album is different because I actually wrote the whole thing. I actually really invested my time and my heart and my soul into it, whereas the first album was really put together by Scott Storch. With his writers and everything, he kind of just took over the project, and I didn't even have a say in what I was doing. It's different that way in that I got to write everything and do it myself. And then by doing that, I got to write about all the stuff that I've been through. It's all the drama, all the love, and all the sadness and the hate put together for good material.
What was it like getting to work with Flo Rida on the album?
We actually weren't in the studio together when we recorded the song. I was at the airport shortly after he recorded it, and I was like, 'Oh my God, thank you so much!' He did such a good job. He's really, really nice, but so intimidating! He's huge!
Yeah, he's gigantic! Like 6'5'.
What made you decide to work with your ex-boyfriend Stack$ on your first single, 'Fallin''?
He's not my ex, actually. We've been on and off, but right now we're on, and it's strong, and it's good. Hopefully, it won't be off again! I was with SoBe [SoBe Entertainment, her label] a couple years ago, and I ended up with the family stuff and Stack$ and I went through a really rough time. So I decided to separate from the label. And I went about a year without him, and I had moved to LA for a short amount of time because I just needed to get out of Miami. And I flew back to Florida because Nick got put in jail, and I was like, All right, I need to figure out where I'm going to live. Something kept telling me, 'Go back to Miami, go back to Miami.' And I came back on a wing and a prayer, and literally, as crazy and fairy tale-y as it is, it really ended up that my gut was right. We just ended up running into each other on the street, and it was history from there.
There are some pretty racy lyrics on this album for someone with a professional wrestler for a father. What does Hulk think of that?
My dad knows that I'm a young woman. He doesn't really, like, listen to it. He just skips those tracks. [Laughs] He knows I'm growing up and that I'm an adult and that I have a boyfriend and that we may do more than just kiss. My dad's not stupid. He's cool with it -- he knows I'm growing up.
Do you worry that people won't take you seriously as an artist because you're on a reality show?
You know what's so funny? Everybody thinks, Oh, she's a reality star that wants to do music. And the truth of the matter is, I was doing music long before the reality show came along. That was the story a while ago, I don't know if it's still the story. I've worked really hard to change the opinions. So I think as long as I'm working toward it and working for people's respect, I think eventually it's got to come.
You're a huge Britney fan, right?
I love Britney. She does it all! When she came out with 'Hit Me Baby One More Time,' I was like prime age. I was like twelve or thirteen or something, and it was just like, oh my God, she was my idol. I think that she's just a fabulous performer, and I feel for her because now I'm starting to, not on the same level, but I'm starting to get ridiculed [by] people. She's been through a lot. And I just love her stuff -- you can't not!