After being in debt for almost a decade, So So Def rapper Da Brat is working hard to recover from her Chapter 11 bankruptcy. With her marriage to CEO of Kaleidoscope Hair Products Jesseca Dupart and a new baby on the way, the chart-topper-turned-radio-host is repairing her finances to start her new life.
Despite having a flourishing rap career and becoming the first female solo rapper to go platinum, Da Brat, whose real name is Shawntae Harris, has struggled to maintain her wealth.
In 2001, the “Funkdafied” rapper’s life came to an abrupt halt after she pled guilty to battering a woman with a gun while partying in an Atlanta nightclub. The argument, which turned into a violent altercation, was over VIP seating.
As a result of the misdemeanor, she was sentenced to one-year probation and 80 hours of community service.
Six years later, in 2007, while attending a Halloween party at a club called Studio 72, she got into another altercation with a woman and hit her in the head with a champagne bottle. This time, she pleaded guilty to aggravated assault charges and spent three years in prison, received seven years of probation and performed 200 hours of community service.
While she was in prison, she was unable to work and damaged her brand, making it difficult to command the top budgets and concert booking fees. This was coupled with the civil lawsuits that came from her criminal offenses that created liabilities for the artist.
According to XXL, Shayla Stevens, the woman who was hit in the head with a bottle at the nightclub, won her civil suit and a $6.4 million judgment from the courts. In 2014, the jury found the artist responsible for causing permanent physical damage and neurological impairment to Stevens.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
In 2018, Da Brat filed for bankruptcy. The Chicago native and Atlanta transplant told the government in addition to the judgment she owes Stevens, she also owes Sony Music $1,255,128, The Blast reported the year of her bankruptcy filing.
Her reported debt then included $12,000 to Ally Bank, $2,284 in credit card debt and $2,284 to the Georgia Department of Revenue. She also owed the IRS money that was not recorded.
At the time of the filing, she was making about $9,319 a month as a radio host and entertainer. Still, her monthly expenses were over $10,500. She could not stay afloat financially.
Her assets were valued at $108,700.65, with Da Brat owing $7,782,249.57.
Stevens protested the bankruptcy and has since said she has not received any money from the influencer.
A Brighter Day
The 48-year-old is working even harder than before. She continues to work in radio, co-hosting the syndicated “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show” and serving as a host on “Dish Nation.” The artist has found a lane in reality television as a cast member and executive producer, working on shows like “Growing Up Hip Hop” and “Brat Loves Judy.”
She also has explored acting, starring in the last eight years in television series such as “Star,” “Envy: Seven Deadly Sins,” “The Chi,” and “Step Up: High Water.”