Da Brat – Funkdafied (CD) (1994) (FLAC + 320 kbps)

The first album by a female rapper ever to sell one million copies, Funkdafied is a promising debut effort that finds da Brat still solidifying her style. She’s a very good rapper without a strong identity of her own yet, and despite her own obvious intensity, she seems infatuated with the offhanded drawl of Snoop Doggy Dogg on much of the album. She’s not just influenced by him, but cops recognizable inflections, phrasing, and vocal riffs, and producer Jermaine Dupri sometimes supports her with Dr. Dre-style G-funk tracks, most obviously on the single “Fa All Y’All.” But even at its most derivative, Funkdafied has spirit. Repeatedly announcing, “I ain’t no muthaf*ckin’ joke,” da Brat paints herself as a cussin’, weed-smokin’ badass bitch who can hang with the boys and beat them at their own game. Cuts like “Da Shit Ya Can’t Fuc Wit,” “Fire It Up,” and “Give It 2 You” effectively establish her tough-talking persona, and the smash title cut is a breezy, laid-back party jam. On quite a few tracks, da Brat augments her Snoop fixation by referencing lines from ’80s classics, almost as though she feels compelled to prove she knows her history; she can also rely a little too heavily on her catch phrase, “Brat-tat-tat-tat.” But even if she isn’t quite there yet, da Brat knows who she wants to be, and she has the talent and production to make the journey entertaining.

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