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Meaning of ‘Da B Side’ by ‘Da Brat’ feat. The Notorious B.I.G.

Released: 1996

Features: The Notorious B.I.G.

In “Da B Side,” Da Brat pairs up with The Notorious B.I.G. to drop a powerful track that emphasizes their firm grip and command over the hip-hop scene. A definitive collaboration, showing the unique blend of two coasts – East coast (B.I.G.) and Mid-West (Brat), to bring perspectives that spill swagger and unapologetic confidence.

The song begins with Da Brat acing to the mic with her signature brazen flow, rolling with references to her success and asserting her place in the game. When she says, “I paid the costs to be the boss as a kid,” she’s reminding listeners of her grind to the top, asserting the stakes and triumphs of her journey to hip-hop stardom. The reference to ‘Loc is a subtle nod to her mentor and producer Jermaine Dupri, reaffirming her place in his So So Def label and distancing herself from allegations of ghostwriting in her previous hits.

When B.I.G. jumps in, he matches Brat’s energy with his commanding presence, adding his own honest, street-savvy narrative. His verse is a raw reflection on his lifestyle, with references to luxury items and a tough ‘from the streets’ persona. The image of “Four deep, in a Range Rover Jeep, guns under the seat”, provides an unfiltered perspective on the mix of wealth and danger that defined Biggie’s life at the height of his career.

The hook suggests a metaphor for the B side of a vinyl record, which traditionally contains more experimental tracks by an artist, hinting their artistry depth. “Listen too the B side” could mean taking a deeper, less superficial look into their lives and artistry.

Da Brat’s second verse is a proclamation of her ability to dominate the charts, where she mentions “got the funk in my pocket, keep it locked down,” signifying her distinct and impactful style that has kept her at the top of the game. She further solidifies her relation with Biggie by recalling his hit “Juicy”, acknowledging its influence and authenticity. The line “JD I was the one, buck the rest” is a bold assertion of her standing in the So So Def lineup, expressing that she is the premier artist of the label.

Finally, the closing verse brings an inviting call to the audience, to ride along with them in their journey, presenting themselves as the leaders in the global hip-hop scene. Overall, “Da B Side” provides an insider’s perspective into the glamour, grit and hard-won victories of hip-hop expertise, delivered with inimitable style by two of the genre’s defining giants.

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