Da Brat and her longtime love Jesseca “Judy” Dupart are bringing their love to the small-screen in a new reality series for WE Tv appropriately titled Brat Loves Judy. The Growing Up Hip Hop star and the business owner and influencer have been solid for a few years and are now inviting fans into their love nest.
While Brat is typically known to the world as a bonafide lyricist, she was actually a fan of Judy’s long before they met. In a recent chat with Shadow and Act, Brat says she began following Judy on Instagram a couple of years prior to meeting. She was instantly drawn to Judy because of her motivational spirit.
Judy eventually went on a tour and had a stop in Atlanta. Brat took it as an opportunity to see her in person. But she didn’t get the royal treatment and joked that she had to wait in line with Judy’s fans for her photo opp.
“I met her and we exchanged numbers…It was such a crowded place that I had to wait for about 30 minutes for her to get to me because she was taking pictures and signing autographs,” Brat recalls.
But Judy says she had no idea Brat was in the building, let alone to see her.
“That surprised me,” Judy remembers. “I didn’t know she was there. So when she waited that time, I didn’t even know that she was there. My team hadn’t told me anything, like I was standing in front of a backdrop and people were in line. So I would take a picture and then move onto the next person. My back was faced the way that she was there but where she was, I couldn’t see. I wouldn’t have just left her there.”
Regardless, Brat took her moment and the rest is history. Despite Brat being a platinum-selling rapper, she’s kept her personal life private in her over 20-year career, noting that she wouldn’t come out with her sexuality due to fear of judgment and being blacklisted. Initially, she took the same approach with Judy, preferring to keep things under wraps. Judy admits it was something she had to adjust to.
“I’ve kind of been an open book so the privacy thing with her and understanding the perks in privacy and looking at the way that she looked at things and handling things a little bit differently from what I’m used to took time,” she says.
Judy adds that Brat took extreme measures to keep things under wraps. “If we go out, we’re going out with her team and when we’re sitting down having dinner, we can’t sit right next to each other,” she explains. “And I was fine with it because I love her.”
But Brat grew tired of hiding. Falling in love with Judy provided her the chance to finally live life out loud. Judy says the moment came when Brat grabbed her hand while the two were attending Essence Fest. Brat’s team was so nervous that they all joined hands with them as a cover-up, but Brat didn’t care anymore.
“I met somebody that gave me some of the fearlessness that she has,” Brat says of their coming-out moment. The two raced to post their love on social media while visiting Judy’s parents’ house one day after Brat couldn’t contain herself any longer.
“She’s been transparent about everything,” Brat says of Judy. “And it made me feel like I want this freedom as well. Like I want the weight lifted. I want to be able to hold my baby’s hand in public. I want to show the world I’m happy and in love. And I can’t because she’s a different gender? All my life, everything has been hidden and been like a secret or I’ve been trying to protect it. And, you know, because it wasn’t cool back in the day to come out, you could lose everything. So thank God the world is different. Now we get to live out loud and be ourselves.”
The reception has been overwhelmingly positive. There was however one hiccup when Brat and her famous sister LisaRaye McCoy got into an on-air debate over McCoy being upset that she found out about Brat and Judy’s relationship on social media. Judy insists she urged Brat to communicate with her sister ahead of time, but Brat simply was not ready.
“I do understand why she was upset with me because we usually tell each other everything about each other’s lives,” Brat says of McCoy. “Oftentimes your family can be judgemental. She has been in the past. She doesn’t like it when I say that, but it’s true.”
But as sisters do, the two talked about it and have moved on and are closer than ever. Now, Brat has an extended family, courtesy of Judy’s children and grandchildren.
“She talks to my children more than I do,” Judy says of Brat as a stepmother. “And I didn’t even know that she was texting them, they didn’t even tell me. I’d be like, ‘I haven’t talked to them in a few days.’ And she’d say, ‘Oh, I did yesterday.’ They have their own relationship. And I love that. They have this type of relationship where they can tell her stuff and they’re comfortable with telling her stuff and they might not even tell me. So she’s been great in that aspect.”
But don’t think Brat will be letting the grands call her grandma anytime soon. Instead, they call her “cat cat.”
The couple say they don’t fear the “reality TV curse” may ravage their relationship. Instead, they wish to provide hope. And though they didn’t intend to go onto the show as the first Black hip hop artist to showcase their same-sex union on reality television, they are doing so with pride.
“We just want to just show our love and now it’s becoming this great positive thing, which is so awesome because we get to encourage people,” Judy says. “We represent people who may be afraid to live out loud or who may be fearful of being themselves.”
Brat agrees, saying the takeaway from the show is simply that love wins. “If you really love the person you’re with, you will do whatever it takes to make their forever just as amazing as yours,” Brat gushed. “There are sacrifices you have to make, you have to put your pride aside and you have to meet them in the middle to compromise because everybody’s different. Everybody’s love language is different. Everybody is not the same. People are opposites and you have to figure out what makes you equal.”
Brat Loves Judy airs on WE Tv every Thursday.