Da Brat Becomes First Solo Female Rapper to Have Album Go Platinum – Hip-Hop’s Biggest Milestones in Music History
For Black History Month this year, Rémy Martin teams up with XXL to celebrate 10 important moments in hip-hop history. Through the years, Rémy Martin has created a synonymous relationship between cognac and music culture by representing celebration and entertainment seamlessly. In honor of hip-hop’s nearly 50-year existence, host DJ Suss One, XXL Awards Board members Kendell "Sav" Freeman, Vice President/Co-Head of Urban Music at Arista Records; Sydney Margetson, Senior Vice President of Publicity at Atlantic Records; and Traci Adams, Executive Vice President of Promotion at Epic Records, revisit Da Brat becoming the first solo female rapper to have an album go platinum in 1994, as a monumental milestone in the genre.
The first golden era of rap featured a number of female MCs who pioneered women’s positions in hip-hop including ground-breaking artists like MC Sha-Rock, Roxanne Shanté, Mercedes Ladies, The Sequence, J.J. Fad, Sparky D, MC Lyte, Monie Love, Queen Latifah, Nikki D and Salt-N-Pepa. However, during that time, only the latter were able to score a platinum album with 1986’s Hot, Cool & Vicious selling 1 million copies over 15 months after its release.
It wouldn’t be until 1994 that a solo female rapper would reach platinum status with Da Brat doing so on her debut album, Funkdafied. Peaking at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 chart, the project took less than six months to move 1 million units, spearheaded by the hit single of the same name, which also went platinum. “When I did Funkdafied with JD [Jermaine Dupri], he was like, ‘OK, look Brat. I’ma tell you now, female rappers pretty much only go gold. So if it doesn’t do whatever, don’t be disappointed,’” Brat said during a 2011 interview on BET’s Monique Show. “And I was like, ‘OK…I just want to do music.’”
It would be another two years, in 1997, before another woman MC would go platinum with Foxy Brown, Lil’ Kim and Missy Elliott earning platinum certifications with their debuts Ill Na Na, Hard Core and Supa Dupa Fly, respectively. In the years since, only Lauryn Hill, Eve, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B have joined the elite group, with Hill’s debut album, The Misdeducation of Lauryn Hill, becoming the first to reach diamond status in 2021.
Important milestones in hip-hop like this deserve recognition for years to come. As part of Black History Month, Rémy Martin and XXL will be making a donation to Black Music Action Coalition, an advocacy organization that was formed to addresses systemic racism within the music industry and reaches racial justice throughout society at large. Rémy Martin and XXL will match every additional dollar donated to BMAC during Black History Month.*
Watch DJ Suss One, Kendell "Sav" Freeman, Sydney Margetson and Traci Adams discuss Da Brat's achievement below.
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*Rémy Martin to match donations up to $50K, XXL to match donations up to $10K.