Shawntae Harris (born April 14, 1974), better known as Da Brat, is an American rapper and actress. Her debut album, Funkdafied, sold one million copies making her the first female rapper to have a platinum-selling album.Regarding her soon-to-be rap name, Harris told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she got the name because she is "a spoiled only child." Harris is the half-sister of actress LisaRaye McCoy
In 1992, Harris got a big break when she won the grand prize in a local rap contest sponsored by Yo! MTV Raps. For the prize, she got to meet Kris Kross, and they in turn introduced her to their producer, Jermaine Dupri, who signed her to his So So Def label. Dupri cultivated Da Brat's image as a "female Snoop Doggy Dogg", and she became one of the first female "reality-based" rappers.
Da Brat's debut album Funkdafied was released in 1994 and entered the rap albums chart at Number #1. The album went platinum, which made her the first female solo rapper to sell one million units. The single also entitled "Funkdafied" reached #1 on the rap singles chart and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. She had a follow-up hit from the same album, "Give It 2 You", which reached #26 on the Hot 100.
In 1996, Da Brat released her second full-length album, Anuthatantrum, which included the single "Ghetto Love" featuring T-Boz of TLC.
During the rest of the '90s, Da Brat came to be known more for her "featured" appearances on other rappers' and R&B singers' albums rather than for her own solo work. She contributed a rhyme to the hip hop remix of Mariah Carey's hit, "Always Be My Baby". She also made her feature film debut that year in Kazaam with Shaquille O'Neal. During the summer of 1997, Da Brat appeared along with Dupri on a remix of Carey's "Honey (So So Def mix)" and recorded the hit remix of "Ladies' Night (Not Tonight)" with Lil' Kim, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Angie Martinez and Missy Elliott. Da Brat was also featured with Kris Kross on their track "Da Bomb" on the album Da Bomb, as well as on their third album Young, Rich and Dangerous.
In 1997, she was featured on "Sock It 2 Me", a track on Missy Elliott's debut album, Supa Dupa Fly. In 1999, she appeared, alongside Krayzie Bone, on the remix to Mariah Carey's cover of Brenda K. Starr's "I Still Believe". She also appeared as a guest artist with Elliott on Carey's remix of "Heartbreaker", and on the remix of Brandy's "U Don't Know Me (Like U Used To)". That year, she was also featured on a remix of the Destiny's Child single "Jumpin', Jumpin'".
In early 2000, Da Brat released her third full-length album Unrestricted, which produced the moderately successful singles "That's What I'm Looking For" (U.S. #56) and "What Chu Like" (U.S. #26), featuring soul singer, Tyrese. The album was not well received compared to Brat's 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; the video for "What Chu Like" featured Da Brat and Tyrese rolling around naked on a beach.
In 2001, Brat continued her trend of being featured on other artist's remixes, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles chart along with rapper Ludacris on the main remix of Mariah Carey's "Loverboy" and being featured artist on Destiny's Child's "Survivor" remix. Da Brat also appeared as Louise in Carey's 2001 movie Glitter. In 2003, Brat released her fourth album, titled Limelite, Luv & Niteclubz, and appeared on the 4th season of VH1's The Surreal Life.
In 2001, Da Brat pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless conduct after she had beaten a woman with a gun during a dispute over VIP seating in a Buckhead, Georgia, nightclub in 2000. The victim in that incident received six stitches for a head wound. Harris ended up serving a year's probation, performed 80 hours of community service and paid a $1,000 fine.
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.
In 2006, she was an onstage guest on Mariah Carey's The Adventures of Mimi Tour in Atlanta, New York City, Long Island, Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles performing her rap verses on the "Heartbreaker" and "Honey" remixes. She was also featured on Kelly Rowland's "Gotsta Go", a bonus track from her 2007 album Ms. Kelly and is also featured on a bonus track from Carey's E=MC? on a track entitled "4real4real". She also co-wrote a song with Mariah Carey called "O.O.C." which appears on E=MC? and contributes backing vocals on the track.In 2007, she participated in the fifth season of the VH1 reality series Celebrity Fit Club.
On October 31, 2007, she was involved in the altercation that ended in assault at a Halloween party at Studio 72 nightclub in Tucker, Georgia. Harris sparred verbally with a hostess, and later, when the hostess proceeded to talk to her manager, Harris attacked her from behind, striking her in the face with a rum bottle. Harris entered a guilty plea to aggravated assault charges. She was sentenced to three years in prison, seven years of probation, and 200 hours of community service. In May 2010 she was released from prison after serving 21 months.