Artists   >   D   >  Da Brat
Da Brat

Da Brat

Fact Sheet

Musical genre:Rap/Hip Hop  
Birthplace  USA
Da Brat (born Shawntae Harris) is a rapper who emerged in the early 1990s and was arguably the first popular female gangsta rapper. Throughout the 90s, she could typically be seen wearing baggy cargo pants, a backwards baseball cap, a nose stud, and using profuse vulgarity.

The Jermaine Dupri protege had chart success in 1994 with her single and video entitled "Funkdafied," taken from her debut album of the same name (Funkadafied).

During the rest of the decade, she remained somewhat low-key and came to be known more for her "featured" appearances on other rappers and R&B singers' albums than for her own solo work.

In the summer of 1996 she contributed a rhyme to the hip hop remix of Mariah Carey's hit, "Always Be My Baby". During the summer of 1997, Da Brat appeared on a remix of Lil Kim's "Not Tonight". That year, she also was featured on "Sock It 2 Me", a track on Missy Elliott's debut album, which became a popular single in early 1998.

In 1999, Brat repeated herself by appearing on two different Mariah Carey remixes for two different singles. The first one, in early 1999, was "I Still Believe/Pure Imagination," which was the remix to Carey's cover of Brenda K. Starr's "I Still Believe" that was reworked to include a sample of the song "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The song also featured guest rapping from Krayzie Bone. The second remix, which took place in the fall, was for Carey's "Heartbreaker," which also featured Missy Elliott and took a sample from Snoop Dogg's "Ain't No Fun". That same year, she also donated a rap to a remix of Brandy's "U Don't Know Me (Like U Used To)".

In early 2000, Da Brat released her third full-length album, which produced the moderately successful singles "That's What I'm Looking For" and "What Chu Like," featuring soul singer, Tyrese. The album was not well received compared to Brat's earlier work. However, the new album and new millennium did inspire an image makeover for Da Brat. Abandoning her "gangsta" persona, she decided to follow the trend in popular music and attempted to sex her image up; the video for "What Chu Like" featured Da Brat and Tyrese rolling around half naked on a beach. In keeping with her new image, Da Brat "accidentally" exposed her nipples live on MTV's TRL, when she was hosting it.

In 2001, Brat continued her trend of being featured on other people's remixes, including Mariah Carey's "Loverboy" remix and the rap remix to Destiny's Child's huge hit "Survivor".