I'm wondering if there's any way to remove the text WITHOUT it applying the brush stroke to the text. i just want to cut the text out of the shape.
Select the shape
Object > Expand Appearance from the menu
This separates the brush stroke from the shape and expands the brush, creating an independent object, then groups the stroke object with the underlying shape.
Proceed to cut the text, the brush won't be applied to the counter/hole left by the text.