When hip hop duo Kris Kross saw a young Da Brat win a local rap contest sponsored by Yo! MTV Raps, they had a feeling that she was something special and convinced Jermaine Dupri to sign her to his So So Def Recordings.
“She was introduced to me by Kriss Kross,” recalled Jermaine in an interview with Complex. “They saw her while they were on tour, and they came to me and said, ‘We got this female rapper you should check out.’ And when they did it, I didn’t want no female rapper. But I thought that since they said I should check her out. I’m like, what does she do that made them want me to look at her? So I at least decided to give it a listen.”
Shortly after, Da Brat signed to So So Def and started working on her debut album. Jermaine Dupri focused shaping her rap image to be the “female Snoop Doggy Dogg,” as well as provided the production chops for her album, but didn’t have high hopes for her.
“Jermaine Dupri told me, you know, don’t expect to go platinum. Girls don’t really, you know, go that far. But if you go gold, be very happy,” she said in a 2007 interview with NPR. “When I went platinum, you know, I had no idea that it was going to go platinum and I would have been happy if it went double glass.”
Released on June 28, 1994, and powered by three singles, “Funkdafied”, “Fa All Y’all”, “Give It 2 You”, Da Brat’s debut album, Funkdafied, peaked at number 11 on the Billboard 200, and went six months later in January 1995.