Tamron Hall devoted more than half of Monday’s episode of her eponymous talk show to an interview with Da Brat, one of the most high-profile rappers in the industry to come out. Touted as “the most revealing interview she’s given” on her coming out as gay in 2020, the chat featured an extensive walk through Brat’s history and strict religious background, as well as several outfit changes on the rapper’s part. Da Brat explained that though she’d met a woman she was attracted to during the recording of her first album, 1994's Funkdafied, she stayed closeted for the next 26 years because she was afraid of derailing her career—she cited the cancellation of Ellen Degeneres’s sitcom that followed the comedian’s coming out as something that shook her.
Hall asked whether Brat’s mid-career decision to sexify her image and show more skin was a false flag to convince her audience that she was straight. (Brat dated men, including Allen Iverson, and privately identified as bisexual for years.) Brat denied that femme-ing up her image had anything to do with misleading people, but she did say that being “fuckable” (this was censored but contextually seems to be what she said) was what she was told she needed to do to sell records. “I did make most of my own decisions—really the majority of them—when it came to dressing. [Mentor] Jermaine Dupri never tried to change me. I stayed with my pants to the back and my big clothes for as long as I wanted to, and when I felt like, ‘Oh all these girls giving body, let me show I got something to work with, too,’” she explained. “So that’s what that was all about.”
Brat was joined by her girlfriend, Jessica Dupart, the CEO of Kaleidoscope Hair Products, who said absolutely lovely things about her partner. “When I came into her life, honestly, it was kind of shocking to meet her and she did not know she was as beautiful as she is,” said Dupart. “She did not know how valuable her heart was. She did not know a lot of things, and it just was shocking to me.”
Dupart said she was not worried that Brat would experience hardship or backlash as a result of coming out. “I felt like I don’t see what anybody could say bad about this,” she said. “There’s nothing bad about this.”
Dupart, obviously, was right. After they came out via Instagram and the shock of the act wore off, Brat said she was affirmed by the responses she received. “I got so much love,” she recalled. “So many people saying wonderful things to me, supportive things, like, ‘Girl, we so happy for you. We see your glow.’ And it just made me feel so good, like a weight was lifted, Tamron, I promise.” While Brat denied any sort of larger activism behind her decision to reveal her truth, she said that inspiring others is a bonus. “I’m just making myself happy finally and living in my truth,” she said. “And whatever it does, and if it inspires people that is amazing ‘cause that’s what we love to do. We love to give back, inspire people, help people, bless people in any way possible.” It’s so heartening that their experience has been so wonderful.