Happy Birthday, Da Brat!
There were two fixtures throughout Missy Elliott's first three albums: Timbaland on the boards and brash verses from Da Brat. The latter turns 41 today (April 14).
In addition to contributing to some of Missy's better songs ("Sock It 2 Me," "Slap! Slap! Slap!"), Da Brat made history by becoming the first solo female rapper (second overall after Salt-N-Pepa) to have a platinum-selling album (1994's Funkdafied). She achieved the feat in 1999 with Unrestricted.
With these successes, it's not that hard to understand why she was a fixture when it comes to feature verses. "Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)," a star-studded 1997 jam from Lil' Kim featuring Angie Martinez, Left Eye and Missy, peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard charts. However, Da Brat's highest peaking feature came a little bit past her peak with hit machine Mariah Carey. The songstress was about to hit a severe dry spell with the Glitter disaster, but Da Brat was able to join one of her lone bright spots from 2001 with the "Loverboy" remix, which peaked at No. 2.
Unfortunately, recent times haven't been great to Da Brat. She's been wracked with legal drama. She served a one-year probation sentence because of a misdemeanor reckless conduct charge stemming from a 2000 assault case. Da Brat also did time in prison for striking ex-NFL cheerleader Shayla Stevens in the face with a rum bottle in 2007. In 2014, she was ordered to pay Stevens $6.4 million from the damages resulting from the incident.
That said, the future isn't completely bleak for Da Brat. The past few months have seen multiple comebacks: D'Angelo, Cannibal Ox and the OutKast reunion, to name a few. Da Brat didn't make a Voodoo, but she at least deserves another shot. She's been trying at least and that's more than most.
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