After recently completing a three-year jail sentence for aggravated assault, Da Brat is anxious to get back in the rap game. She says she's grown a lot since being convicted of attacking a waitress in an Atlanta club back in 2007. The rapper, born Shawntae Harris, is trading in her rambunctious and outlandish ways for a more centered and grounded outlook on life. This time around it's all about focusing on her career. In fact, she plans to hit the road as soon as her probation ends on Aug. 22.
Brat, 37, is still signed to Jermaine Dupri's So So Def imprint, and she says she wouldn't have it any other way. "I've had a lot of people — a lot of people — trying to pull me away from JD," she tells BET.com. "People have made me great offers. But its not about the money. It’s about the love and loyalty." That loyalty is something she feels is missing from the music industry. Her mentor, Dupri, has not been shown the respect he deserves as far as she's concerned. "I really don’t understand it, and I never will," Brat says. "But I guess you are only as good as your last hit. So if you don’t have nothing out it’s tough.”
Some would argue that Dupri is simply going through a career slump, but Brat wants to stress that he hasn't gone anywhere. "JD is an artist, but he’s more of a producer in the background, so a lot of these hits that he’s made, I’m not sure if people know that he [created them]. He's behind the whole Confessions thing with Usher, and the Mariah Carey comeback."
"He’s still doing a lot of stuff," Brat continues. "He just got done working with Mary J. Blige down in Miami. He’s still very prominent and very much here. So why he doesn’t get his due respect I don’t know. But it doesn’t stop him from doing what he’s supposed to do. And it doesn’t stop him from being very driven and dedicated and committed to his music in production and as an artist.”
And right now, Brat can't wait to reclaim her title as the First Lady of So So Def. "I’m not going anywhere," she insists with pride. "Period.”
(Photo: Prince Williams/Getty Images)