17 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Most one-hit wonders don’t survive the second-album curse, so the fact that Da Brat’s 2000 set Unrestricted is her most self-assured effort to date speaks to the depth of her talent. Her rap skills won her the respect of her hip-hop peers. The two-minute “Intro” is a feat of rhyming that features no less than three legendary guests: Timbaland, Twista, and the amazing Millie Jackson. The album also features appearance from future superstars Alicia Keys (“At the Club”) and a young Kanye West, whose production work on “Chi Town” was one of his first major credits. Brat’s producer Jermaine Dupri had impeccable radar for new talent, but Unrestricted doesn’t come off simply as a mash of circa-2000 trends. Brat’s rapping is the focus of every song—she makes sure of that by stepping to the mic with total confidence and ingenuity. The skills she displays on “That’s What I’m Looking For” show that she never could have been relegated to just one hit single.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Most one-hit wonders don’t survive the second-album curse, so the fact that Da Brat’s 2000 set Unrestricted is her most self-assured effort to date speaks to the depth of her talent. Her rap skills won her the respect of her hip-hop peers. The two-minute “Intro” is a feat of rhyming that features no less than three legendary guests: Timbaland, Twista, and the amazing Millie Jackson. The album also features appearance from future superstars Alicia Keys (“At the Club”) and a young Kanye West, whose production work on “Chi Town” was one of his first major credits. Brat’s producer Jermaine Dupri had impeccable radar for new talent, but Unrestricted doesn’t come off simply as a mash of circa-2000 trends. Brat’s rapping is the focus of every song—she makes sure of that by stepping to the mic with total confidence and ingenuity. The skills she displays on “That’s What I’m Looking For” show that she never could have been relegated to just one hit single.

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