As we've seen on previous seasons of "The Surreal Life," many of the show's made-for-TV-roommates are way past the prime of the careers, to put it politely.
So when Da Brat, who just had a hit song a couple of years ago and is still a pretty viable rapstress, signed up to appear on the fourth season of the popular VH1 program, some people close to her — especially Jermaine Dupri, CEO of So So Def, the label for which Da Brat records — were scratching their heads, thinking the hip-hop vet was buggin'.
"With 'The Surreal Life,' it was a real hard decision for her to do that," Dupri offered of his friend's participation. "As her superior, I felt she shouldn't do it. But at the same time, she talked to me like, 'If I went on there, [other current rappers] would want to do it. They would think it's something new to do.' She felt that as long as her life was current, it empowered her."
"I think it's gonna be a good thing," said Brat, who shared a house with "America's Next Top Model" winner Adrianne Curry, actor Verne Troyer (Mini-Me from "Austin Powers"), the Go-Go's Jane Wiedlin, Joanie Laurer (a.k.a. former WWE diva Chyna), male model Marcus Schenkenberg and actor Christopher Knight (Peter Brady of "The Brady Bunch"). The new season begins airing on January 9. "It's gonna be funny fo' sho. I can't really wonder what people think, as long as I do my thing. I enjoyed it. I think people are going to love it."
After thinking about it, Dupri came around to agree.
"No doubt in my mind that that show turns you into a celebrity," the producer said. "You see these people every day, and if they do have records on the radio, it should add fuel to the fire. If Flavor Flav and Public Enemy did come out with a record, he probably would be one of the most talked-to people out of the group 'cause you know something else about him. I think [Brat's] the first artist that's [still active] now that you're gonna see on there. After you see her being Brat, and it's like, 'Ah, that wasn't so bad,' you gonna see a whole gang of n---as want to go on that show. You're gonna want to see other people go on there and wild out."
Brat says her 12 days of taping last year got pretty wild at some points and that she's going to be in front of her TV every Sunday night with some popcorn to see how the show's producers put the program together. When she's not watching herself at home, she's going to be listening to herself in the studio. The B.R.A.T. has been recording and wants to release an album this year as soon as So So Def finds a new distribution home.
"Me and J.D. just been mashing it out," she revealed of her current recording process. "So So Def is about to do something major, so I want to have a catalog of songs ready."
Trick Daddy, Trina, Lil Jon, T.I. and Lil' Scrappy are among the rappers she has on her LP wish list. "I'm so ready, I've got fire in my boots," she said.