As a product of Chicago, Da Brat says she originally patterned her style after Twista—who held a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as world’s fastest rapper. Interestingly enough, she made history by slowing her flow down to a tempo that had more in common with emerging West Coast emcee, Snoop Dogg. With both a sonic and visual nod to Bootsy Collins and Parliament Funkadelic, Da Brat surprised her mentor/producer Jermaine Dupri and subsequently made history.
“When I did ‘Funkdafied’ with JD, he was like, ‘Okay, look Brat. I’ma tell you now—female rappers pretty much only go gold. So if it doesn’t do whatever, don’t be disappointed,’” Brat recounted, during an interview on BET’s “Monique Show.” “And I was like, ‘Okay. I just want to be famous…I just want to do music.’”
Brat indeed became famous, as her 1994 ode to 70’s funk culture established her as the first female rapper to go platinum. “Funkdafied” peaked as the number six single in the country, and stayed on Billboard magazine’s “Hot 100” singles chart for 20 weeks. With heavy rotation on radio stations around the country, the video was supplemented with plenty of butterfly collars, faux and real afros and platform heels to match its 70’s vibe. For their part, JD and Brat chose to keep their attire circa ’94, and 17 years later, one wonders if their baggy jean suits look as dated now as afros and platforms looked back in 1994. Either way, Brat made history. And while she added that she didn’t want to take too much credit, she’s obviously acutely aware of her position in the Hip Hop world.
“I was very happy,” she said of her commercial and critical success. “And I feel like because I was the first one, I went down in history. So whoever does it after me, I’m happy. But I was the first.”