Nineties fans will remember Da Brat as the pioneer artist who spawned the Funkdafied in ’94, becoming “the first female solo MC to reach platinum”. The veteran rapper has remained relatively quiet in recent years, but made headlines in March 2020 when she emotionally professed her love for (and confirmed her relationship with) Jesseca Dupart, CEO of Kaleidoscope Hair Products.
Brat made their relationship with Instagram official when she shared a video sitting in a brand new Bentley, apparently given to her by Dupart as a gift for the first 46 years. The clip captures the rapper in a very raw and real moment, crying tears of joy as Dupart kisses her off camera. The hair care mogul, which is labeled in the gram, commemorated the relationship on her Insta account with a photo with two white Bentleys and the caption “HER and HER”.
From Brat making her love story public is the latest development of what looks like a rebirth for the Grammy Award-winning artist. Younger fans can only recognize her through reality shows like MTV’s Growing Up Hip-Hop or VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club, but there’s so much more to this rapper that changes the game. Here’s the unmentionable truth of Da Brat.
Da Brat broke barriers in the music biz
From Brat (birth name Shawntae Harris) was born on April 17, 1974 and grew up singing gospel on Chicago’s West Side. “I was involved with the church choir and played seven different instruments,” he told Gapers Block. “There are a lot of things people don’t know about me; they think I’m just a rude, talkative rapper. After graduating from high school in 1992, Da Brat found success in the local rap scene and won recognition for winning a competition sponsored by Yo! MTV Raps.
One thing led to another, and Da Brat was presented to Jermaine Dupri (pictured), who signed the rising star for his So So Def label. She said her stage name came from her “spoiled only daughter” background. In a 2013 interview with Complex, Dupri admitted that he was initially reluctant to give Da Brat a chance. “I was introduced to Da Brat by Kriss Kross. They saw her while on tour, and they came to me and said, “We have this female rapper you should see. And when they did, I didn’t want a female rapper.”
But Dupri controlled her, and she proved it – and a lot of other people are wrong – when her G-funk bravado dominated the charts and made music history.
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Click link in my bio and subscribe to my YouTube channel. (DaBratTv) Woooo…I got some more videos comin soon. Since we all at home, gone and catch up on the ones already on there and be on the look out for the NEW TINGS! 😎 (Suited by: @supportblackcollege Hair by: @iamhonestlybeautiful Mug by: @sophiemua) #SOSOBLESSED #SOSODEF
Da Brat nearly knocked out her career
All that success almost collapsed when Da Brat landed in serious legal trouble. In 2007 she pleaded guilty to an accident in a nightclub in Atlanta owned by music producer Jermaine Dupri. According to MTV News, “Da Brat was sentenced to three years behind bars, seven years probation and 200 hours of community service … for hitting a woman in the face with a bottle of rum” and cutting her face.
It was not the first time Da Brat had allegedly assaulted someone. “In 2000 he faced charges of beating a woman with a gun during a VIP seat dispute” in another nightclub, according to MTV News. She pleaded guilty to reckless conduct and agreed to a $1,000 fine, social services and probation.
At Brat, she has managed to stay out of trouble with the law in recent years – a trend that we hope will continue – and has made her way back into the spotlight through reunion shows and, of course, reality TV.