Ahead of the premiere of their new WE tv reality show Brat Loves Judy, rapper Da Brat and girlfriend Jesseca Dupart, CEO of the successful Kaleidoscope brand, aren’t feeling nervous about the reception they’ll receive. During a phone call from their home in Atlanta, they’re feeling and emanating nothing but positive energy.
“We feel good,” Da Brat tells ESSENCE. “It feels good to be able to show the world our love. Hopefully people can relate to what we do and how we move and how we process things and how we conquer things.”
It’s a major decision for the couple to be open about their relationship in this manner when prior to 2020, people knew very little about their private lives. Both women have dated men and women over the years, and for Da Brat, the rapper has shared that the decision to stay mum about her romantic life previously had to do with the past stigma being out in the 90s and early ’00s came with. In addition to that, it was out of concern that negative comments could impact her significant other. Therefore, things were initially handled in a stealth manner for the couple.
“In the beginning it was certain rules. If we meet, obviously it can’t be like, ‘Oh, we can go to the movies.’ So it just took some getting used to. And I was perfectly fine with it,” Dupart (whom many know on Instagram as DaRealBBJudy) says. “I felt like it was a new part of life that I never really tapped into or explored, so understanding the perks of privacy, it just was like, ‘Okay. I get it.'”
But as the connection between Da Brat and Dupart intensified, playing it safe no longer felt necessary; so much so that the “Funkdafied” rapper surprised everyone, including Dupart, when she decided to openly hold her hand while they were attending ESSENCE Festival in 2019.
“My staff was going crazy,” Da Brat recalls. “They were like, ‘Oh my God.’ They were trying to block us and hide us. And it was like, ‘Oh my God, she’s holding her hand in public. Oh my God, did they just kiss?'”
“Now in the beginning, when we were first in New Orleans, we went to eat at Morrow’s. And I was still a little bit nervous because I walked behind the side of the building. And then she came around and she planted one on me. And I was like, ‘Oh my God. You kissed me outside,'” she continued. “And then at the ESSENCE Fest, it was just like, You know what? I didn’t care anymore.”
She adds, “It was just the way she made me feel.”
And now they’re living and loving freely. Since making their relationship public in March 2020, they hold hands wherever they go, sharing kisses and making up for lost time. This free expression of their love now includes filming Brat Loves Judy, the reality show about their relationship, which debuts on Thursday, August 5 (9 PM ET). Their show is one of the few that is centered around an LGBTQ+ couple on reality TV, and the significance of the representation they’re providing is not lost on them.
“It’s kind of unbelievable that this is what’s going on, because when we went into this, it wasn’t necessarily for that. It was more so giving our lives,” Dupart says. “Then when realizing what it was, it was like, wow, ‘do you realize what we’re doing?’ We’re stepping out and speaking or representing for a group of people and it was honestly by chance.”
With the weight of that responsibility in mind, they are ready to share a lot of the ups in their relationship, as well as be honest about the downs. When asked if there was anything that would be off-limits about how they operate on the show, the answer was no.
“When we started filming and we got into a real argument — we don’t argue at all,” Da Brat says. “We really don’t, and we got into a full argument in front of these people. I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I was like, ‘Is this what we’re doing? In front of these people?’ She was like, ‘This is what’s happening. This is the truth. This is real. This is what’s happening.’ And I was like, ‘Ok, baby.’ And we just live our lives. Up, down, good, bad, ugly, mundane, salacious, vulnerable, all of that. It’s just all out there.”
Overall, what you’ll see from them, aside from them handling their businesses, interacting (and reconciling) with family and giving back to others, is them getting to be authentically themselves, living in their purpose, happily doing so out in the open.
“They can expect to see two beautiful boss b—hes in love and the things that we go through. Just like regular people,” Da Brat says. “We’re regular people. We have hearts, our hearts get broken, we go through love and we go through pain and we go through arguments and we go through working it out and we communicate with each other and we fix it. And it’s not always easy to be fixed. We’re just being us.”