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Best In Black Celebrity News & Gossip; Urban Since 2007

Exclusive Da Brat Talks With MrsGrapevine.com About Her New Mixtape; Life After Prison; & Questions About Her Sexuality

Da Brat is back with a fresh new mixtape entitled, Life After Death, not only an homage to the late Notorius B.I.G, but also a reflection of her life before and after prison.  MrsGrapevine.com had an opportunity to talk with Da Brat one on one. We discussed everything from Da Brat’s return to music, Nicki Minaj, and the lack of women in hip-hop today. We also asked her a few questions submitted by our readers via Facebook, dealing with her sexuality, her “tomboy” style of dressing, and her relationship to Lisa Raye. She also reveals a little something about Mariah Carey and dem babies.

You can download the mixtape, Life After Dark, at GLOBAL 14 (Jermaine Dupri’s Blog-Spot). If you aren’t already, you can also follow Da Brat on twitter @only1rbrat. Check out the transcript of the interview below, I will add the audio soon.

V103 Atlanta Car Bike Da Brat Performs Live Exclusive Da Brat Talks With MrsGrapevine.com About Her New Mixtape; Life After Prison; & Questions About Her Sexuality

You missed one of the biggest events in US history, what was it like behind bars when you found out Barack Obama won the presidency?

Awww man, we were all in jail crying. The whole thing was in Chicago, I’m from Chicago, I will rep Chicago till I die, so you know I just wanted to be there; just mad because I couldn’t be there.  But, it was a beautiful day.

It was very emotional for black people in general.  No matter what, though, you’re going to have your haters, but ummm such a monumental thing to happen, especially since what 50 years ago, we couldn’t even sit on the front of the bus. It’s monumental, and I think it’s a beautiful thing! No matter what happens, I support him because it’s just great to see a black man as President. You never thought you would see that. I never thought the world would even let it happen.

What about Michelle Obama?

I think him and Michelle or doing a good job. I mean when he came into the game, it wasn’t all peaches and cream. He has to fix everybody mistakes, and the things they’d messed up before he got here.

I think Michelle Obama does a great job. I love her style her personality, her charisma. You know everything she does for the world. And plus I like her little style, she ain’t trying to go spend $10,000 on an outfit. She will go to H&M on your ass, or T J Maxx,  spoof up the same outfit. I think that’s real classy and down to earth, it’s like the girl next door.

I love them as a couple, and I like what they’re doing.

Speaking of growing up in Chicago, there are a lot of rumors out there about your relationship to Lisa Raye. We know you’re sisters, but can you explain how you’re related? One site says you’re half sisters, another site says step sisters…

Yeah we got the same father.

MGV: Did you actually grow up in the same household with Lisa Raye?

No, not the same household

So Let’s talk about the mixtape, Life After Death, and the title. Is it a homage to the Notrious B.I.G., or is it just symbolic of the last few years?

Both really. I don’t know if people know this, but I was really close to Biggie. In fact right before he passed in Vegas, yeah, it was during the Soul Train Music Awards, I smoked out with him and Lil Caesar

I never really got a chance to say goodbye, so this mixtape is like a Rest In Peace. He was one of the first rappers to put me on, I did a track for him, and he turned around and did a track for me. I use to call him my Big Black Teddy. Yeah, I loved  Biggie.

Yeah, when I went to jail, my life as I knew it died. So it’s definitely a reference to that. So much had change. I didn’t want to write while in jail because it just didn’t feel right, and I couldn’t record.  I had this little cheap effin’ recorder, and it just didn’t sound right, it didn’t have the same feeling as being in the studio. When I was released to the half way house, JD [Jermaine Dupri] hooked me up with this headphones and digital mixer set, and that was cool, but nothing is like being in the studio.

How was it hitting the studio for the first time in over three years, were you overwhelmed with material, did you have a hard time finding your voice?

It wasn’t hard, I didn’t lose my voice, never that. But no, when I hit the studio, I had a lot to say and record.

Do you think going to prison added depth to your music in the tradition of other hip-hop artists like Tupac?

It  definitely added depth to my life I mean, I thank God for every experience that I’ve had. I feel like everything happened for a reason. And so yeah, the whole prison thing is a part of my journey, and a part of my struggle, and in everything I do. Even today when I talk about it, I have a true testimony. It’s not like I didn’t have one before, but you know now, I can talk about that. I can talk to other people about  not  going down the same path. It’s all a part of my testimony and a part of my journey so definitely. Everything I go through adds depth to my life.

While in prison did you learn more about yourself, or more about the people who surrounded you before?

I think I learned more about myself.  Don’t laugh when I tell you this, but I didn’t know what ovulating was. So you know, I learned more about how often my period comes, like when you feel this certain pain, it’s kind of like cramps. It doesn’t mean your cycle is coming, it just mean you’re ovulating. I know it’s funny, but I learned a lot about myself that when I was home, I never really had the time to pay attention to.

I also learned a lot about the people who love and support me. I learned a lot about my fans. When you’re out and you moving around so much, you got a fan club, when you’re a celebrity or whatever.  When fans write you, you don’t really get all of your mail directly. You might see some of it or glance a few pieces here and there, you might sign some autograph pictures to make sure your fans are cook like that,  but getting the mail directly 20-30 pieces of mail a day, it’s just amazing.  From Africa, Japan, New Zealand, ummm Turkey, that shit be like wow.

The people who came to see me and show me love, it was amazing… And yeah, I learned a quite bit about some of the people who I thought would show me love, and didn’t come through.

What happened to women in hip-hip while you were away in prison? No offense but right now, we have Nicki Minaj and Nicki Minaj? How did women get squeezed out of the game?

I can’t say what happened to women, when I was locked away, because I was locked up, but before I went in, the industry was going through a change from CDs to the internet. It was hard getting a record deal.  They weren’t promoting certain artists. I don’t know about others, but I was making music from Miami, to Atlanta, to Chicago. They weren’t trying to put us out. I was recording a bunch of stuff, but it was like a waste of time, not knowing if your work would get released or if they would give you the promotional budget you need. There were women in the game before I went in like Shana, Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Remy Ma. I don’t know what happened to them.

Side Note: Now that I think about it three of those four women went to jail, to0. They were just locking up women in hip-hop from left to right.

Like on the BET Awards, once again no offense to Nicki Minaj, but they had a hard time filling the category for Best Rap Female.

Honestly, BET should have just given Nicki the award instead of trying to find someone who ain’t doing nothing or who no one has heard of.

Like I said I was out there trying, but it was hard. Not just hard for us, but look at 50 Cent, and Kanye West, they had the same problems. They had to create a buzz by creating a battle to see who could sell the most.  You have to have a gimmick. I don’t know where all of the women emcees are, but it’s depressing. It really is!

When we asked our readers what is the one thing they would like to know about you, 90% of the questions revolved around your sexuality and music. One reader wanted to know if you had a choice between Meaghan Good and Idris Elba, who would you rather?

{Laughs hard} That’s funny! I’m going to leave that one to the imagination. How about that?

MGV: Why do you think people are so fascinated with your sexuality?

I love that, I LOVE that! I hope they stay fascinated with my sexuality because that’s something that makes them wonder.  Some people feel like they know; some people feel like they wonder; and some people feel like they don’t know. So I probably will NEVER answer that question to make people keep on wondering.

MGV: It’s the best way to market yourself, too. You don’t have to be put in a box:

Definitely, it’s the best of both worlds.

One reader wanted to know, why do you dress like a guy, and what happened to the Da Brat from the What’cha Like video?

Well you can tell that reader, when I dress tomboyish, I don’t really consider it dressing like a guy. I am a full fledge woman and I like to dress however I feel comfortable. So when I feel like getting glam-med up, and throwing on the Christian Louboutins, and the weave, or whatever I’m going to do to my hair, and push up my titties in a push-up bra, throw on my La Perla, then that’s what it is and I’m comfortable either way. But when I’m performing or just, on the day to day, or in the streets, I’ll probably have my braids with my hat cocked to the back.

My braids  is more low maintenance than me having to get up every day and curl the hair and put on a full fake fledge face of make up, you know what I’m saying.

I’m cute without makeup, so I really don’t have to worry about that. I’m blessed to have good skin and good genes. You know! So they gone get that when I give it to them. I like to make people guess, and to make people wonder.  When they do see me like that, it’s like, “Damn that’s Brat!” Because when you use to seeing me, you use to seeing a P-Y-T, Pretty Young Thug, so when I throw on that sh-WAM,  when I turn into Shante on them, it’s like OMGosh.  I’m not going to give you that Wat’cha Like all of the time. I’m give it to you in spurts, so you will be surprised, and I can keep you guessing.

You’re close to Mariah Carey. What is something you can tell us about Mariah Carey that most people don’t know?

There are so many things. Let’s see…When she takes off her shoes she walks on her tippy-toes when she’s barefoot, because she can’t walk flat-foot; she so use to wearing heels. And when she was a kid she walked on her tippy toes. Her heels do not hit the ground.

Have you seen the twins? Do they look more like Mariah or Nick?

Yeah! Ummmmmm, you can’t really really tell, but I think more like Mariah when she was a baby.  You know, but they’re probably going to grow up into looking like the both of them. When they are babies you can’t really see it, until they start growing into themselves.

When is your album coming out? When can we expect to see an album from Da Brat?

We don’t have a date or anything yet, but JD and I are in the studio quite often, and I got a track from Pharrell so far.  You know! I don’t want to spill the secrets, but you know it’s coming. I don’t have a date, but as soon as I get it. I have somebody reach out to you, so you can let my friends and my fans know what’s going on with your girl.

MGV: Has Jermaine Durpi instrumental in getting you back into the music industry?

Oh! Absolutely! Absolutely.

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6 Comments

  1. I’m glad you did this interview I have always been a fan of Da Brat. I grew up wearing the baggy clothes and wearing fitted caps and I was not called gay – it was the style. Matter of fact girls were made fun of when they would wear tight jeans or little skirts in my hood, so I can relate with brat on her choice of style. We all seen pics of her all girl Birthday party plus celebs tend to want to keep the public guessing on their sexuality when in fact they are gay. (but who cares if they are or not…they’re talented and that is why we’re so hooked on them)

    I dont dislike Minaj because she is a gimmick, I think Nikki is nice on the mic, but I dislike Minaj because she think she is the only female emcee to reach heights she has when in fact she isn’t. Queen Latifah has gone from female emcee to starring in her own tv show to being a cover girl model with her own make up line to a having jazz albums to being a Golden Globe winner to being in a Oscar winning movie to still be making more movies to hosting award shows and the list goes on and on and on. Minaj has taken over radio and has recorded songs with the hottest artist right now at the moment. Nikki has a long ways to go before she can accomplish what Queen has and to be so humble like the Brat. Women in Hip-hop will always be catty with one another – its in our female blood sadly but true.

    • @SylentDreamz,

      OMG! I hope it didn’t come off like she was dissing Nicki Minaj because she was not doing that at all. She supports women in hip-hop.

      We must be around the same age because every time, you share a memory, I’m always like me too.

      I use to wear cross colors and baggy clothes. I was so skinny, it was nice hiding my shape, or lack there of at the time.

      • @MrsGrapevine 2, LOL!!! No, she did not but I know about the “hype” about Nikki Minaj and the BET awards. I was just saying from my POV why some people may have a problem with Nikki. I don’t think Brat would even come off like she has a problem with anyone – Seems like she is just happy and is ready to get the ball rollin’ on her career.

  2. Awesome interview! Da Brat seems to be in great spirits. It’s amazing how she is still able to remain positive. Now that’s a true role model. Someone who made a mistake, had to deal with it, but is still determined to make something of herself. Nothing but respect and love for her!

  3. Yahoo

  4. I luv da brat!I can’t wa8 4her album she is such a breath of fresh air! A real woman,comfortable n her skin,she is so grounded n humble!I watched her on Monique show when she first came home,,She is the real deal!nothing fake about her at all!KEep shining n stay blessed BRAt ta tat tat! ;)

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