Future groom Brandon Nsekpong had no shortage of words when he recently proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Ashley Young.
Nsekpong took the #sogonechallenge — a new social media trend — to a whole new level when he recited a rap proposal to Monica‘s 2003 hit “So Gone.” The moment was documented, shared via Twitter, and has since gone viral. Following the flawless performance, the soon-to-be married couple opens up exclusively to The Knot about his fun idea.
The moment went down inside a restaurant in Dallas, where the couple and their families gathered together to celebrate Young’s 26th birthday on Sunday, August 21. During the outing, Nsekpong, 27, suddenly stood up and began to rap to his love. He had already showered her with birthday gifts, including Dallas Cowboys tickets and a camera — but the most memorable surprise was on its way.
“I wanted to make sure that she could enjoy each surprise fully before the next one came,” Nsekpong tells The Knot. “I waited until the check came and then announced that I had a birthday song.”
— Ashley (@AshleyYoungRN) August 23, 2016
That birthday tune turned out to be the queue for his proposal. Nsekpong then launched into a rap about meeting Young back in eleventh grade, and being devoted to each together for a decade. His love sat with a huge smile on her face, unaware of what was about to happen.
Her longtime boyfriend mused that he was blessed to be her man, and then spewed, “Now I’m feeling nervous getting closer to your hand.” Nsekpong then took Young’s hand and went, “Wait. I want to say thank you to the family for giving me your daughter. Trusting in the man in me. I had a talk with God. He said, ‘You’re missing one thing,’ so I had to get a ring.” He then dropped to one knee.
The future groom, who works as an account executive and app developer, admits he was anxious before the big moment. “No one was really too shocked, because I make songs often. But when I stood up, I was so nervous,” he recalls. “Everything was going smooth until I looked at her and said, ‘I’m blessed to be your man.’ I was choking up. I surprised everyone. Her mom was in tears, as well as some of the staff at the restaurant.”
And his future wife was moved too. Young, who was clearly stunned by his proposal, quickly nodded yes after he got down on one knee. “I had absolutely no clue as to what was going on,” she tells The Knot. “I was just enjoying my birthday surrounded by great people … The proposal caught me off guard in a good way. I was not surprised by his rapping skills. He has been rapping as a hobby for as long as I’ve known him, and he’s pretty good at it.”
Young, a NICU nurse, tells us that Nsekpong surprises her often. “He tries to keep our relationship fun and spontaneous especially since we have been together for a decade. He knows how to go above and beyond to spoil me and make me feel like I’m all that matters!” she gushes.
The day after the proposal, Young received yet another surprise. “So Gone” singer Monica tweeted a shout-out to the newly engaged couple. “#SoGoneChallenge Just went to new levels …. Yesssssssss she had to say yes,” the songstress penned.
— Monica (@MonicaBrown) August 23, 2016
The bride-to-be has been shocked by the attention she and her fiance have received. “I was blown away and taken aback,” she tells The Knot. “I feel like the luckiest girl in the world, and I will never forget this very special moment that the world was able to witness.”
The lovebirds have set a wedding date for June 2017 in Austin, Texas. When asked if he is planning a follow-up rap for the wedding, Nsekpong begins to laugh. “I’m not sure yet, but I am thinking about streaming the wedding live, so maybe!”