It’s “Like Dat” and that’s the way it is!!June 4, 2007 at 7:19 am | Posted in Interviews | Leave a comment
“Flavor of Love 2” and “Charm School”‘s Darra “Like Dat” Boyd by ShaBe Allah Public Enemy hypeman, Flavor Flav, made a unprecedented comeback to entertainment with VH1’s traiblazing “Flavor of Love”, which was followed by millions who wanted to know what happened to those women who weren’t chosen when the season closed. This spawned another season, as well as other spin off shows. “Charm School”, hosted by comedienne Mo’ Nique, was a crash course on etiquette for the eliminated contestants that most would say had the hardest time, er, becoming the right flavor for Flav. One of those contestants never made any personal adaptations to appease Flav, Mo, or anyone else in show biz. She was just “Like Dat“.
Comfortably, yet confidently donned in a halter top and jeans, the bronze skinned, big body woman was not expecting to be in front of the crooked eye (camera lens), so she took a few minutes to put her TV face on before she got into her business. Jersey City, N.J. native Darra Boyd sat down in a chic cafe in the East Village to discuss how she found her way onto Flavor of Love, the future of her newly founded PR company, Lady Bug Media, and the perks of entertaining millions just being herself.
“Let me take a sip and I’ll tell you.”, Ms. Boyd says before she gives her candid opinion on whether or not she was eliminated by Flav because of her size. After taking a few slurps of her Mango Margarita, she continues, “I’m not in a brother’s mind, but I would really like to hope that they didn’t bring me there to waste my time in the end because a brother didn’t like a big girl. I don’t think personally that a person would spend so much time being as appreciative and grateful for your presence being there if they had an issue with your size. I’m gonna tell you that right now. I mean, that’s a good brother.” Despite the opinions of those who can’t appreciate curvaceous women, Like Dat stood out as the realest, true-to-life contestant from the 2nd season. Also, it couldn’t be ignored that this over 25, mother of one knew more about the legendary rap group Public Enemy and it’s controversial wildman more than any of the girls from Season 1 or 2. “If you from New York, you know Public Enemy. I used to live in the Bronx, my mama live in Westchester, I used to live in Westchester, I live in Jersey City going back and forth..It wasn’t a corner of this Tri-State area that didn’t know Public Enemy or didn’t know Flavor Flav..in his good days or his bad days.”, she boasted of her jump on the other lovers of Flavor. Feeling like she could entertain America better than the ultra Sassy New York and the other women from Season 1, Like Dat and her homegirls from the “6th Boro” decided to check the casting call for the following season, but she was the only one to make it to Hollywood. Being the average, around the way girl that she is, that was the last thing Darra expected. ” When they called me up, I was like, ‘Why you want me? Why really do you want me?’ I work a 9 to 5 in advertising, I do what it do, I got a life, I do like a little part time gig, taking care of my house and when it finally came down to the minute, I was just like, ‘Well, fuck it. This must be the way I need to go.’ and it’s been fabulous after. I don’t regret anything I’ve done. I ain’t really do nothin’ but be myself, you know?”, the voluptuous vixen excitedly explains. Obviously, that’s all she needed to do. Working advertising campaigns for large pharmaceutical companies such as Merck and Bristol Meyers Squibb, Ms. Boyd was already destined for success. Being a “Flavorette” just got her more work. ” I got a lot of people that when I was working at agencies, they’re calling me up, man. It’s like a mad, corporate, underground following. You think it’s just brothers and sisters watching these shows? It’s like a little watercooler entourage! Seriously!”, she jokingly contends. Little did she know that her antics would land her a spot and more fame on another Flavor-ed show.
Even though Like Dat was dismissed about halfway through the show, her performance, or rather her presence, ensured her a spot on Charm School. Hosted by another one of America’s big girls, Charm School was just the avenue Like Dat’s fans expected her to merge into in order to get the edge she needed to come out on top. To the contrary, Mo’ Nique had no intentions of the such. When asked if she thought Mo’Nique was going to give her a play for being plus sized, Darra responded, ” Everybody think that, but that woman was hard on me. On the side, she was just like, ‘Look, you ain’t catchin’ no breaks from me just ’cause you big!’ It don’t matter. I gotta work twice as hard. Whatever! I didn’t want to have any breaks because of that. I wanted people to see me and I wanted to be a part of the situation so they could see that I could do just what everybody else do.” She still had nothing but high regards for the heavyweight hostess. ” To me, in my life, it wasn’t a more real sister out there than Mo. She’s funny. I’m comedy crazed. She got a good insight on life. Everybody’s doing something for entertainment, so you’re not necessarily sure if that personality is gonna be the same when they’re talking to you and really trying to do something to make it work. She fell for all of us. She fell for us hard. She really wanted us to do well and she wanted to be there and work with us and made sure we got a point that was proven and that was solid. That’s what I liked the most about her. She really cared about the initiative that she was bringing to us with Charm School. Believe it or not, with all the drama or not, she was really down with it. I like that about her, man. I told that woman thank you so many times, it was not even funny. I still say thank you to her to this day..and Flav because I would’ve never thought to do this 10, 15 years ago.” Regardless of all of the knowledge gained from show business, it wouldn’t have been a show without a few catfights and having an all female cast didn’t help that situation. And yes, the Jersey chick had her part in it, too. The viewers thought they would have the priviledge of seeing Like Dat pop off on the girl from “54th and Crenshaw”, but it was only a false alarm. Darra is a “G”. She knows that it ain’t about where you from, but where ya at. “On the same page, East Coast/West Coast, we’re from the same place. Where we’re hard knock, working hard to get yours, and don’t go down for nobody. So when it comes to a confrontation, you know we both heated. I’m like, ‘What’s up?? What we gonna do?’ I know she got hers from 54th and Crenshaw, and I ain’t got no disrespect for that, ’cause it’s tough. It ain’t easy, but Jersey City ain’t easy, either.”, she blurts with the confidence of a second Margarita. For entertainment, people do what they do for TV, especially reality TV, so don’t be suprised if you see Like Dat and her onscreen, West Coast rival, Saaphyri, chillin’ off camera. Darra admits, “You’d be suprised! My girl Saaphyri and my girl is Becky Buckwild. You’d be suprised.” Taking all of her new found fame and recent elimination in stride, Ms. Dat is ready to roll up her sleeves, tie up her ‘do, put her advertising skills to work, and hit the industry full force for self.
Months after leaving Hollywood, Like Dat is back on the East Coast grindin’ hard as ever. She still holds her head high in her hometown and is still looked at as a winner for reppin’ J.C. to the fullest. The pride is heard in her high pitched voice when she says, ” When I walk down the street, people will call my name and I’m wondering if it’s people that haven’t seen me in like 10 years or somebody I know and every time I stop, it’s somebody new. That’s telling me that they love me. I wasn’t expecting to get any more or any less by being me. If I gave someone the impression that they could approach me, that’s good because I’m an approachable person. So I don’t mind. It made me feel really good inside that people saw me tryin’ to be me because it was the only thing I could do and they really had a lot of love for me and I love that. Now there are days when I gotta go pick up the baby and I gotta be there right at 3 o’clock. I let ’em know, ‘..you gotta walk and talk. I gotta go. I gotta hustle.’ For the most part, people are cool with that. I try to reach out to everybody that comes up to me and says, ‘Thank you for being a big girl. Thank you for representing Jersey City (N.J.).’ I get that a lot.” With Flavor Flav, Mo’Nique and the producers of the shows cosigning her power moves, her chances for advancing her PR firm to the top of urban music and media are well above average. When questioned if her stint on television has helped her launch any of her projects, she says, ” It actually made me realize that I can start my own company, and I did. Ladybug Media is a company that I started. It was an idea from my girl Tamica Fields. She has been a frontrunner for me as long as we had this company together. She had this idea for years and we were finally in a position where we could actually do something and make it work. With all of our experience in advertising, marketing and PR, we doin’ what it do. She’s the girl that gets everything together, I’m the frontrunner. We tag team like crazy and we got stuff goin’ on.” Let’s not forget that Ms. Boyd can be heard along with DJ Doitall on 99.3FM in Atlantic City on Monday nights. “Doitall is a solid brother, he got a good market, we have fun together, and people are like really liking me. I got South Jersey, the summer and the shore, that’s great because everybody there is enjoying my company and my realness, enjoying my tag team with Doitall and it’s really good.”, Darra states of her on air gig. “You’ll never know where you gonna find me because I’m trying to do so many things. People ask me to do things and if it’s worthwhile and worthy, I’m gonna do it.”, mentions of her promising future. Busy as a ,uh, ladybug, expect to see more of Ms. Darra Boyd at an industry event near you.