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Da Brat Biography


Home > Music > D > Da Brat > Biography


Birth Name: Shawntae Harris
Born: 1974/04/14
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois
Years Active: 1994–present
Genres: Hip Hop


Shawntae Harris was born on April 14, 1974, and is a rap artist and actress better known by her stage name Da Brat. While growing up she played drums and sang in the choir at her local church four days a week. Da Brat’s big break came when she won a local rap contest sponsored by “Yo! MTV Raps.” This resulted in a meeting with Kris Kross and record producer, Jermaine Dupri, who signed her to his So So Def label.

Da Brat's debut album “Funkdafied” was released in 1994 and entered the Billboard Rap Albums chart at #1. The album went platinum, which made her the first female solo rapper to sell one million units. The title track lead single reached #1 on the Rap Songs chart and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. She had a follow-up hit from the same album, “Give It 2 You,” which reached #26 on the Hot 100.

1996 marked the release of Da Brat’s second album, “Anuthatantrum,” which contained the hit, “Ghetto Love” featuring T-Boz of TLC. Da Brat spent a large part of the 1990s building up her reputation as a rap artist and collaborating with other rappers and R&B artists, such as Mariah Carey on the track, “Always Be My Baby.”

The late 1990s also saw Da Brat transition into acting with her feature film debut in “Kazaam” with Shaquille O'Neal. In 1997 Da Brat recorded a remix of “Ladies' Night (Not Tonight)” with Lil' Kim, Left-Eye of TLC, Angie Martinez and Missy Elliott. In 1999 she collaborated with Krayzie Bone, on the remix, “I Still Believe,” and Elliott's “Heartbreaker.”

In 2000 Da Brat released her third full-length album, “Unrestricted,” which was not as commercially successful as her previous albums. The album was not well received compared to her 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 add to her sex appeal.

In 2003 Da Brat’s fourth album, “Limelite, Luv & Niteclubz” was issued. It included the single “In Love wit Chu.”

In 2005, she made a comeback of sorts when she was featured on the remix to the song “I Think They Like Me,” by Dem Franchize Boyz, which also featured Bow Wow and Jermaine Dupri. The song peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles chart and #15 on the Billboard Hot 100.