Quincy Brown Calls Late Mom Kim Porter the 'Most Important Woman': 'I Can Talk About Her Every Day'
Quincy Brown is celebrating his trailblazing mom, late model and first lady of hip-hop, Kim Porter, in honor of Women's History Month.
Speaking with PEOPLE as part of his recent campaign with Google in celebration of the monthlong observance, the Power Book III star takes a moment after filming to open up about some of the most heartwarming moments he shared with the matriarch — and the meaningful life values she ingrained in him, which he hopes will live on forever, as he continues to share them with his younger siblings.
Porter (mom to Brown, 29, Christian "King" Combs, 22, and twin daughters Jessie James and D'Lila Star Combs, 14) died of lobar pneumonia in her Toluca Lake, California home on Nov. 15, 2018. She was 47. Porter became known as hip-hop's first lady in the '90s when she "pretty much ran [the late Andre Harrell's] Uptown Records" in the beginning years of the genre, Brown says.
"I was initially interested in partnering with Google because I've been a fan of tech for the longest time and I think they're one of the leaders in technology," the app developer and creator of AirPod tracking gadget Qase tells PEOPLE. "I like to know what's coming, be a part of it and help change the narrative."
Adds the proud son, "I chose to highlight my mom [for Women's History Month] because she definitely was and still is the most important woman in my life. Any time something comes across my way and I think of her first, that means something, and this is one of those no-brainers. She's had that much of an impact on me to where I can talk about her every day for the rest of my life."
Indeed, Brown celebrates his mom every day, even regularly wearing a gold photo-engraved pendant with an adorable childhood snapshot of her (in which she poses with her mom, his beloved grandma Sarah Porter, who helped raise him in Columbus, Georgia. She died of cancer in 2014).
In his new Google video tribute, the Brotherly Love star sports his mom's favorite color purple in a high fashion shirt designed by Martin Asbjørn. "She felt like purple was the color of life, beyond royalty," he explains.
Though the mother-son duo had been practically inseparable since his birth in 1991, the moment that sparked the next level of their relationship was in August 2014, when they attended a concert at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California (at which Rihanna and Eminem performed) and bonded over cannabis. Quincy was 23 at the time, and the rest is history.
"That was a huge, huge, huge, 'Whoa' [moment], he recalls with a laugh. "I didn't think it would bring us closer, because we were already close. Once we started doing that, we uncovered a different layer of friendship. It opened a whole new light. Not to say that if we didn't have it we wouldn't be so close, but we became that much closer. There's no such thing as too close, especially when it's your mom."
For Quincy, the moment was unforgettable. "I remember it like it was last night."
The "Aye Yo" hitmaker also recalls his years growing up as his mom's only child, until April 1, 1998, when his brother Christian was born. (Quincy is the biological son of Al B. Sure!, né Albert Brown III, 52. Porter shares her younger three children with Sean "Diddy" Combs, 51.)
"There was a spoiled factor that you realize wasn't really a spoiled factor once another brother or sister comes along," the New York native says. "Then it becomes balanced. [When Christian was born], it definitely was a difference, but I loved it. I embraced it. I was like, 'Enough of me, we got somebody else. Enough about me, I got this from here.' I wasn't scared or jealous or anything. I was more excited."
That was partially because Porter and Quincy were always surrounded by loved ones anyway. "I had a big family so my mom's attention was on me and with the family. It wasn't like, 'Oh, let me try and milk this alone time until Christian pops out,'" he laughs.
Now as an adult, Quincy looks back on his mom's incredible ability to juggle motherhood, her career and personal life with a newfound level of respect and admiration.
RELATED VIDEO: Kim Porter Laid to Rest in Beautiful Ceremony
When asked which of Porter's many feats he is most proud of — from slaying as a runway model to working as an actress and entrepreneur — The Holiday Calendar star tells PEOPLE that what he really loved to see most was simply, "[My mom] being who she was and being able to hold it down. For me, it almost looked like a job, but it was her being her."
And on what he admired most about his late mom, Quincy says, "I can't give you one, but I'll give you one of many. [I admire] her energy and pureness. She never changed, even if she was sad or down, she always gave 100 percent of herself."
"I don't know how, but I got this same little trait of hers," he continues. "We care about people more than we care about ourselves."
Though Quincy is the "spitting image" of his dad Al B. Sure!, whom many refer to as his "twin" because they also share the same June 4 birthday, the songwriter says, "I see myself more in my mom than my dad. Exactly who I am is who my mom is, personality wise. We have pretty much spitting images of everything else outside of looks. Literally everything is mirrored. I am her."
He says Porter would be most proud to see "that I was just like her."
And his twin sisters Jessie and D'Lila also take after their mom, in more ways than one.
When asked if he sees Porter in them, Quincy affirms, "Of course. That's twice, triple times. I think they've also copied her frame to a T. It's quite scary."
The Dope star continues, "I've even tricked some people by saying, 'Yo, look at this picture of Jessie and D'Lila, it looks like an old picture,' and they're like, 'Oh my God it does,' and it'll really be [a picture of] my mom and they're like, 'No way, no way.' But you know, that's life. That's how you get amazed at life."
Adds the doting brother, "They're just beautiful people. They are two separate people in one, or vice versa. But they have that side [like our mom] that when it's time to turn it on, it's time to turn it on. That could be charm, a pose or [anything]. They're always ready and that's [beautiful]. When they smile, when they start to do their expressions [they look like our mom]."
"My mom was silly, silly, silly, silly," Quincy vividly recounts. "You probably wouldn't know that off the bat, but they have the same silliness as her. It's not like, funny, child silly, it's a serious silliness that's like, 'Be careful, you might think they're being smart (or sassy) but they're just being silly.' But it's fun. They took that from my mom."
There's another heartwarming quirk about Porter that many might not know right off the bat, "Whenever she took walks in New York, she would have this specific route that she would take so that her path, I'm not even kidding or trying to be funny, her path was literally the same path as the horses so she could smell their manure the whole time."
Quincy jokes, "You know how some people are obsessed with certain smells, she literally has had that obsession for probably 15 plus years. Let the wind blow, let it hit your nose when you walk."
Porter was widely known for her gorgeous smile, sense of style and radiantly glowing personality, among many things — but she was a mother above all else, and her maternal instincts helped jumpstart her son Quincy's career.
The first-ever male celebrity spokesmodel for Coach Watches often recalls the moment his mom told an entertainment industry agent that he was an actor, long before Quincy had read his first script. The chance encounter led to his first role, in the 2012 film We the Party.
Though Quincy says he knew he wanted to hit the big screen one day and had plans to eventually enroll in acting courses, Porter's advocacy in that moment really "sped up the process."
And if there's one life principle she passed down to him that we will always live by, it is, "To always plan. Plan what you want to do and don't do anything just to do it. That [advice] factors in with everything, through music, business, love, relationships and through your day."
Porter also taught her eldest son to trust his gut, a skill he uses to continually push the envelope and dare to be different. "My mom would always tell me, 'Your body will tell you whatever it is you need to know.' You have to be in tune with your body so your body can guide you along your journey. Somebody else's advice isn't gonna always be the best advice."
As the patriarch of his siblings, Quincy always reminds them what their mom taught him, "Never forget where you came from."
The "Friends First" star explains, "That can easily get lost along the way. I feel like I do a good job at sending that constant reminder. There's a certain pride you have when you know where you came from. It's a good feeling to have and almost bring alongside you."
Of course, there's one message Porter would always say to the twins that Quincy finds himself repeating in her absence, and that is, "'Be a lady.' And somehow, someway, they know exactly what to do."
Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic and while filming for 50 Cents' upcoming new drama series Power Book III: Raising Kanan (set to premiere this summer), Quincy still finds time to create and release new music. The star has delved into various genres including Afrobeats and Reggae in the past few months alone.
"My latest song 'Escape' definitely is an R&B groove, it's one to make you feel good," he tells PEOPLE. "'Enough About Me' was something fun. I wanna start putting records out just because I have so much to share and I wanna have fun and show different sides of me as an artist."
"People are starting to understand me and what I'm here for with the music," adds the rapper. "As I grow, I impress myself. I'm looking to challenge myself."
On why he chose to channel his African roots in his "Aye Yo Remix," released in November alongside fellow hitmakers Patoranking (né Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie), 30, and Shaggy (né Orville Richard Burrell), 52, Quincy explains, "I'm Nigerian, first off. So that's definitely a lane, a territory, which I wanna learn more about. I want to bridge gaps and this was the start of it all. It's about [establishing] that global reach and global connection. You gotta conquer the globe with other artists, especially in unfamiliar territories as yourself."
"My next single is definitely pushing my versatility and showcasing fun ways to really get across to my fans," Quincy teases. "I'm trying to throw out a bunch of puzzle pieces so you'll start to see all these pieces in front of you [and] you can't help but to start putting them together. That's the overall vision."
And on his work in the highly anticipated Power Book III, Quincy tells PEOPLE, "It's a great role. I play a producer. I'm an ear to the streets. I'm an ear to the music. I'm a big shot and it's around the birth of hip-hop."
"It's the era that record producers and people in that respect were the ones running s—, so I guess you can say I come in running s— for a little bit," he says with a laugh.
- K-Pop Group ITZY Says Their Album Crazy in Love Is About How They'd 'Act When They Fall in Love'
- Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Ashley Williams 'Had the Best Time' Filming Hallmark Christmas Movies
- Figure Skater Jason Brown Reflects on Publicly Coming Out: 'I Didn't Ever Question My Sexuality'
- Jacob Bryant Says Creating Music Is His 'Therapy' as He Releases 'Devil & an Old Six String'