Hip Hop icon Shawntae Harris, popularly known by her rap moniker Da Brat, is in a league of her own. She is undoubtedly one of the pioneers of women in rap, and her impact on the genre is without question. In 2022, Da Brat tied the knot with hair mogul Jessica Dupart. Earlier this year, the rapper announced that she is pregnant and they are welcoming their first child together. Her fans and admirers know Da Brat to be a lyrical genius, and her versatility has been widely praised.
As one of Hip Hop’s leading ladies, Da Brat is capable of freestyling on the spot and known for her bold and audacious flow. Over the years, Da Brat’s songs have been met with widespread praise. Her 1994 debut album, Funkdafied, was the first female solo rap album to receive a Platinum certification. Since then, her career has blossomed, and she’s built a legacy that can’t ever be washed away. Here are some of Da Brat’s most iconic songs.
7. "Give It 2 You" (1994)
After creating a major buzz with “Funkdafied,” Da Brat’s career was off to a brilliant start. Later in 1994, she released her third and final single off her debut album. "Give It 2 You" quickly dispelled any rumors that Da Brat was a one-hit-wonder. Like many of the songs on her debut, Da Brat opted for witty lyrics and a snarky delivery.
“Give It 2 You” was a master class in blending R&B and Hip Hop, and Jermaine Dupri appeared on the track. It also sampled Michael Jackson’s hit “Smooth Criminal.” The single eventually rose in popularity due to its star-studded music video. The video featured many notable Hip Hop and R&B stars, including The Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, MC Lyte, Diddy, and more.
6. "Sittin' On Top Of The World" (1996)
In 1996, Da Brat released “Sittin’ on Top of the World” as the lead single off her sophomore album Anuthatantrum. One of many songs written by Da Brat and Jermaine Dupri, the track became her third single to receive a Gold certification. After showing off her swag on her debut album, the rapper took it up a notch on Anuthatantrum. Da Brat was letting the world know she was unable to be duplicated.
5. "Loverboy" (2001)
Da Brat and Mariah Carey are both revered in their genres of Hip Hop and R&B, respectively. Both artists have built a close friendship throughout their careers and in doing so, have appeared on multiple songs together. By far the most notable of their collaborations is the remix of Carey’s 2001 hit, “Loverboy.” Da Brat counters Carey’s sweet and sugary tone with raunchy, sexual, and witty lyrics. Together, and joined by more featured artists, they ended up with the best-selling single of 2001.
4. "What'chu Like" (2000)
Da Brat and Tyrese made for a magnificent collaborative mix on 2000’s “What'chu Like.” The single proved to be a hit and is one of Da Brat’s most mainstream songs. Tyrese provided the hook for the track, while Da Brat raps suggestively over a fine, smooth beat. Produced by none other than Jermaine Dupri, “What’chu Like” kicked off the pair’s union into the new decade.
3. “Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix) (1997)
The '90s were a remarkable time for Hip Hop. Marked by some of the best releases in the genre's history, it was also a time for many women rappers to break into the mainstream market. With the release of “Not Tonight,” women's solidarity in rap was at an all-time high. The remix to Lil Kim’s hit track featured Da Brat, Angie Martinez, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Missy Elliott. Each rapper had her moment to shine and delivered some of the most iconic lyrics in the history of women in rap.
2. "Ghetto Love" (1996)
“Ghetto Love” remains one of Da Brat’s best songs ever released. The single featured TLC’s T-Boz and covered a host of topics. Encapsulating tough love and how it lasts through circumstances, “Ghetto Love” is perhaps Da Brat’s most relatable song. It also proved quite popular, becoming her second-highest charting single as a lead artist on the Billboard Hot 100.
1. "Funkdafied" (1994)
Da Brat's rising career was put in a major spotlight with her hit debut single "Funkdafied." The song became one of the most successful releases of the year. “Funkdafied” was enough to begin her rise as a source of inspiration for women in Hip Hop. The groovy number soon became one of the songs of the summer and was an anthem for women. With well-written lyrics, a bold, striking persona, and a feature from Jermaine Dupri, “Funkdafied” put Da Brat on the map.
In conclusion, through her hard work and talent, Da Brat has become one of rap’s most iconic stars. She may have slowed down a bit recently, but her catalog continues to speak for itself. No discussion on women in rap would be complete without a mention of Da Brat’s name and legacy. With her slick flows, versatility, and confident demeanor, Da Brat is an untouchable rap heroine.