There’s no stopping Devi Brown.
After taking over television and radio with her love of hip-hop and beaming personality, she’s become a health, mindfulness, and wellness expert. Her new book, Crystal Bliss: Attract Love. Feed Your Spirit. Manifest Your Dreams., is out now via Simon & Schuster and it’s allowing her to continue that lifelong mission to evolve through her work. “I have a huge appetite for learning, growth, and understanding people,” she tells CASSIUS.
But it isn’t just this yearning that allows her to shine. There’s another important ingredient to Devi’s success. “I also have a big desire to be of service,” she explains. “We’re all good at many things but we don’t always tap into those things. The more things I tap into, that I know that God gave me, the bigger chance to be of service in whatever way I’m meant to be.”
Brown shared these and more life jewels with CASSIUS, breaking down her love for “real, true, transparent hip-hop,” which falls in line with her “desire for higher consciousness.” As a multidimensional person, she also analyzed the importance of authenticity and explained how she hopes to continue her ever-evolving journey from here.
CASSIUS: In Crystal Bliss, you say, “The most important relationship that you can nurture is the relationship that you have with yourself.” How did you start that personal journey? How do you maintain it?
Devi Brown: I was raised as an only child by a single parent. By nature of that, I’ve always been a little more introspective and self-aware than maybe the average person, just because I spent so much time alone or in the company of adults growing up. So, my journey started with a heightened sense of self-awareness and being almost like a lone wolf. As I started to get older, I noticed that certain things society told me that adulthood was going to look like, I didn’t feel the payoff that was described. I started to notice that, when they said you get a career, promotion, money, car, or the man — these things that people tell you to quantify happiness — I would check those things off my list and while they were blessings I was grateful for, I was like, “There’s gotta be more. That can’t be all that’s here for me.”
That made me ask, “What else is there? Am I using certain things to distract myself from myself?” Working in entertainment, especially starting so young, I was going to so many parties and events, connecting with so many people, and having so much fun. Then, it felt like that fun could no longer fill me and so you’re directed back to yourself. What’s going on with me? What have I not dealt with? What do I need to grow? Life will make you dive into yourself for one reason or another and that’s kind of what happened with me. I was super stressed out and kind of depressed. I wanted more from my life and I wanted to feel like what I did, mattered. I wanted to feel like I was helping people like I was freer. Realizing how deeply layered being alive is, I discovered meditation, books, and different tools to explore myself more. The key to wholeness is self-inquiry and detachment from outcomes.
CASSIUS: So, being at peace with whatever the outcome might be…
D.B.: Yes! I used to be a very impatient person and I used to be somebody that believed in the golden rule to a hyper-extreme sense. When I first heard, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you,” I thought that was like the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard. But nowhere in that, does it say that reciprocity is guaranteed. That realization brought so much into question. Why is there injustice? Why do people hurt you and not feel sorry about it? It started bringing up all these larger questions. What helped me is understanding that challenges of life will never stop. Life is meant to be lived uncomfortably. It’s meant for you to take risks. It gives you freedom and happiness because you know your work is never done. You know that you are a constant work in progress.
When you keep pushing forward, it brings depth, joy, and peace to your life. To me, that is the key to maintenance and not feeling dejected, understanding that your version of loving yourself is going to change all the time. If you stay open to whatever that change looks like, and you trust in the universe, that is how you evolve through self-love.
CASSIUS: You don’t limit yourself. You’ve done so many different things in your career — musical work on Here, My Dear with Terrace Martin, radio work, television work, wellness and entrepreneurial work through Karma Bliss. What do you think are the connecting lines between your seemingly different careers so far?
D.B.: That’s such a great question. I have a huge desire to learn. Anytime I hear something, I’ll spend hours researching it. I wanna know everything about it. Down to the smallest thing like, watching an interesting movie and then diving into it for hours, going from page to page, to understand every facet of what came up in that movie. I have a huge appetite for learning, growth, and understanding people. That is what propelled me to always take risks. There’s also that cliché quote: “Why not me? Why can’t I be great?” So, why not me? If I want to do something, why can’t I, if I give it effort? I’m not hopping from place to place like, “I just wanna do this and that!” I’m giving my best effort.
It’s interesting. I had to interview a career coach for my radio show a few years ago. She said that this is the first time in history where you’ll see masses of people hold multiple careers throughout their lives. We’re seeing that people are changing career paths almost every four years. People used to tell us, “You want to be a master of one trade instead of a jack of many.” But why? Life is created for us to be intermingling, growing, learning all the time. You still have to do that responsibly. I also have a big desire to be of service. We’re all good at many things but we don’t always tap into those things. The more things I tap into, that I know that God gave me, the bigger chance to be of service in whatever way I’m meant to be.
I also have a big desire to be of service. We’re all good at many things but we don’t always tap into those things.
CASSIUS: I can see that in your career. Your love of hip-hop is also clear in everything you do, even in your work with wellness and crystals. How have you learned about wellness through hip-hop?
D.B.: It’s funny that you ask me that because I was deep in thought about that today. The reason I love real, true, transparent hip-hop is because it is so in alignment with the desire to have higher consciousness. Hip-hop, at its core, is rooted in standing in your truth and telling your story. When you think of The Hero’s Journey from Joseph Campbell, that ideology that you are meant to embark on this journey once your soul hears the call, you’re meant to slay the dragons in your path, stand up against your past, stand up against your fears, but the circle of your life’s journey is not completed until you share your story, until you go back home, and teach people what you’ve learned. That’s hip-hop’s essence: self-discovery, proclaiming who you are in the moment. When you see an artist evolve, you’re seeing them standing in their truths as different versions of themselves. That’s why there’s such a debate on whether you have a ghostwriter or not in hip-hop. Did you write every bar? No other genre does that. You don’t hear Taylor Swift being accused of not writing every word in her songs. The reason that’s the case is because, on a subconscious level, we really understand that this genre is a genre of truth-telling and transparency. It feels authentic to us when somebody is proclaiming who they are, what their life is.
Right now, you have incredible artists, too many to name, but I’ll name some that resonate with me on a soul level. Kendrick Lamar is wise beyond his years. I imagine, when he’s writing, it’s almost like a ray of light shines into the top of his head, giving him the view of the world, and he’s able to translate that into his message, songs, and lyrics. J. Cole is able to point out the things happening in the world with structure and deeper understanding. Big Sean specifically talks about meditation, chakras, karma, because that’s aligned with how he was raised, what his grandmother taught him. Those artists are offering free therapy. When I listened to JAY-Z’s 4:44, I saw the poets Rumi and Ovid, the stories that have been told over 3,000 years come to ahead in the way that JAY-Z now understands his life and the need to share his lessons. In his evolution as an artist and as a man, he realizes that he has a greater responsibility, not to just truth-tell in his songs, but to make that a larger conversation. Some artists that are able to be in line with mindfulness and wellness, but then as a whole, this medium and the way artists use this medium, in an unspoken way, is so aligned with self-discovery.
CASSIUS: You continue evolving. What’s next? What are you inspired to take on now?
D.B.: I really want to get back into the TV space. I don’t know if that means mainstream television, but I want to be able to have conversations like this in a way that everybody can join in on. This is, right now, an era of enlightenment. Wellness and self-discovery is a luxury. Having the time to dive into yourself, that’s something that is often taken for granted. So I want to find a way through media to connect with people, specifically people of color and people in underserved communities. I don’t want this to be another area where we get left behind. It’s so on trend and so expensive in some ways, to go to empowerment events, hear amazing speakers, and buy these books. But I want to be able to have conversations regularly on a larger platform where people can dive into each other’s stories.
It’s funny. I saw you tweet not too long ago. You were talking about being inspired by ScHoolboy Q as a dad. Q has my favorite IG Stories of all time. He’s such a phenomenal human being. It’s so remarkable how purposefully he’s living and how wise he is. The way he’s able to deliver his new understanding of the world to his fans is so subtle but so impactful. Him sharing his beautiful journeys with his daughter, with his dogs, he’s teaching fatherhood and people don’t even realize it…He even loves to go eat sushi by himself. That may sound small but how many people are scared to do anything by themselves?
CASSIUS: I can see you bringing this type of conversation to television. Can’t wait to see how you make that happen.
D.B.: Me too!