Interview, Relationships

Da Brat: “Left Eye Did Not Like Me At First”

Left Eye - Da Brat - VMAs 1997 | TLC-ARMY.COM

So So Def‘s first lady, Da Brat, recently opened up about her initial friendship with the ‘L’ of TLC, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, back when she first came onto the scene in 1994!

Da Brat was speaking about the so-called rivalry with Left Eye, in response to Tyra Banks’ recent comments to the Wall Street Journal about how she felt intimidated by Naomi Campbell when she first started modelling. Tyra felt Naomi was doing everything in her power to make her go away, due to the fear of having similar competition.

Da Brat feels she can relate to Tyra because of her experiences with Left Eye. “When I first came in the game, when I first came to Atlanta and got with Jermaine Dupri and So So Def, I loved Left Eye. I wanted to be Left Eye, I loved her”, Da Brat tells her co-hosts Headkrack and Porsha Williams on Dish Nation.

“She did not like me! And when I tell you I cried and I cried”. Da Brat even talked to Lisa’s group mate, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, about how she was feeling about not being accepted by her idol. “I talked to T-Boz and I was like, ‘why doesn’t she like me?’ Cause I loved her. I just felt like I was so much like her. And, ooh, she did not like me”.

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Da Brat, who has a re-occurring role in WE TV’s ‘Growing Up Hip-Hop: Atlanta‘, touched on some of the deep-rooted reasons that may have triggered the initial bitterness. “She was like Jermaine Dupri’s first rap female artist, and it was just that thing there. I didn’t understand coming from Chicago, being raised by my Grandma and loving everybody. I was like ‘oh my God, Left Eye!’, and she was like — [frowns]”.

Jermaine Dupri was introduced to Left Eye in 1990 by Ian Burke, as part of the group 2nd Nature, before being renamed TLC.

As documented in the JD WE TV special, TLC were initially brought to Dupri to be signed, but his label wasn’t ready at the time, leaving the girls to sign with LaFace and Dupri to find another group and female rap artist for his So So Def label, which launched in 1993.

Lil Kim Left Eye Da Brat Missy Elliott Angie Martinez 1997 | TLC-Army.com
Ladies Night: (L-R) Da Brat, Angie Martinez, Missy Elliott, Lance ‘Un’ Rivera, Left Eye & Lil’ Kim (1997)

Thankfully, the ladies squashed their differences and were able to bless us with the iconic collaboration remix to Lil’ Kim‘s “Not Tonight (Ladies Night)” in 1997, for the Nothing To Lose soundtrack.

“I was so hurt. I know how Tyra feels”, Da Brat continues. “We were cool [by the time ‘Ladies Night’ came out], but she was not fond of me at first”.

What are your thoughts on Da Brat’s initial rejection by Left Eye?  Does society always pit women against each other?

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