A Brand New Funk

Remember that hot-headed girl from the Funkdafied

video with the baggy jeans on and the tomboy style?

That girl has transformed over the years into

a formidable MC and now a very sexy woman who now makes the men all pause.

Coming up on So So Def with Jermaine Dupri, Da

Brat has consistently maintained her well-known persona but now adjusts the

format with her new album.

Limelite, Luv, and Nightclubz demonstrates

a confidence that promise, “I am going straight to the top.” Recently

AllHipHop got a chance to chat with Da Brat.

AllHipHop.com: Let’s just touch on what

you have been doing the past three years since Unrestricted came out? A lot

of your fans have followed your evolution from wearing baggy clothing and Timbs

to who you are today.

Brat: Yeah, I think I have definitely grown,

I’ve matured. I’ve been through a lot and not just in three years,

but through the course of my entire career. From Funkdafied the baggy clothes

is still my thing, everyday I’m in 38 Girbauds all the time. But when its

a photo shoot or a video I wanna give them something special, ya know, instead

of the average thing that I started out with because as time goes on people

change. I’m grown on now, and I’m not afraid to show a little cleavage

or a little bit of skin. I’m cool with that now because back then I was

like ooh no I’m not doing that. And all my fans have been loyal with me

with this since 2000 when I dropped Unrestricted, my last album, I just kinda

been chilling. JD has been working on different projects that I’ll jump

on sometimes. I have been enjoying my life, spending more time with my family.

I wanted a little down time ya know like every artist wants. I took vacations

in St. Barts and St. Martin, and stayed over there for a few months and enjoyed

the serenity of life. And when JD came over and said ‘you ready to do this

album’ I was like ‘hell yah.’

AllHipHop.com: So what is the situation with

JD right now, where are you two heading with the label?

Brat: Well with he is the Senior VP of Arista

so there is nothing but great things happening with So So Def too, him being

the CEO of that company. Whatever JD does I have his backing and support, I’m

supporting him 110%, he’s always been very supportive and caring, he has

never pushed people to the side or whatever. I’m really happy with the

JD situation, wherever he grow to, is where I’m going to grow to. LIke

he already told me that later, once my record comes out, he is gonna give me

my own label so instead of me trying to shop for it I’ll be in the position

to do whatever I want to do.

AllHipHop.com: Talk about the new album “Limelite,

Luv, and Nightclubz” and what that will bring to the table that is new?

Brat: The new album is just a more mature album. I wanted to choose different

things to focus on and that's where the album title came from. I didn’t

want to choose one thing like my average things, I wanted to do something different.

I’m always in the limelite since I became Da Brat and I became a part of

the limelite. You give up your privacy, you give up everything if you have a

passion for this. I automatically became a part of it. The luv songs focus on

relationships and the first single “In luv with you.” Nightclubz,

that's where it go down in the nightclubz. After the show its the after party.

I’m performing all the time and doing concerts and there's always an after

party. And that's almost every weekend, three or four days a week ya know. Most

of my life takes place in the nightclub. That's where we kick it at. That's

where the title came from.

AllHipHop.com: Some of the cuts on this album

were produced by L.T. Hutton, who for a number of years was a producer over

at Death Row Records (now Tha Row), can you explain how you two got down?

Brat: I grew up with LT in Chicago, we used to

dance together when we were like 16 or 17. We had like a dance group. And once

the thing folded with Death Row he was just chilling and doing his thing I ran

into him again, and I think everything happens for a reason. So I considered

that to be a blessing and I was like you know what lets get into the studio

and start making songs. The chemistry was just really good. And we started coming

up with hits, and when JD was like “you ready to the an album” I was

like “oh God I got like 100 songs already.” So I played him a lot

of songs and we picked the best ones out of those and went with those and about

half of what JD was doing. My album is definitely gonna be half JD because that’s

my family. Like half from JD, half from LT. Because he couldn’t deny him.

AllHipHop.com: Now one of the cuts on your album

is a dedication to MC Lyte, can you explain why you chose her and why you have

so much respect for Lyte?

Brat: Yah, I got a song called “I Might

As Well Tell You Who I Am” and it uses a sample from an MC Lyte song. I

love MC Lyte. I grew up in high school and watched Yo! MTV Raps and MC Lyte

was on there, Queen Latifah and Monie Love on there too. I love Monie Love and

Queen Latifah, but Latifah was kinda on the African thing, and Lyte was on the

tomboy style. She was a tomboy she had on those lil’ pinstripe suits. She

really reminded me of myself. So she was always my main inspiration. So I wanted

to do something to give back to her. So people know that she's a very good friend

and honest and loyal about everything. She gives me advice and she is still

putting in work. She's a part of my life and I salute her.

AllHipHop.com: Why should someone check out your

new album as opposed to buying a copy of Funkdafied?

Brat: They should check out because if I’m

the same girl they fell in love with with Funkdafied with before they will really

love this album ya know. This project I’m a lot more comfortable, the lyrics

just are fun. There's war going on out there and I didn’t want to talk

about all that here. I didn’t want to talk all negative, I went with the

fun more. Its all on the advice giving. They kind of have messages moreso for

the love relationship songs. The party records are just party records like any

of my any records. I just want anybody to enjoy it.

AllHipHop.com: With all the rappers talking about

the war that just went down and everything, what position did you take on Bush

Vs the Iraq?

Brat: Ya know like I feel right now in this world

that we all play a very small part. We can say what we want to and pray, but

I can’t got to the president’s house and say like “yo you need

to stop this situation.” He’s not gonna listen to me anyways. He’s

gonna do what he wants to do anyways. So really I just pray everyday and live

in this world and be praying that we don’t have any nuclear weapons used

or come over here. I was worried about it, but I can’t do anything about

it to change it, so all I can do is keep living my life and doing my songs.

That was my stress reliever and my way out as it came to this war stuff. That

kept me focused.