Melvin Vernell III, better known by his stage name Lil Phat, was an American hip-hop recording artist. Vernell was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He began rapping as a teenager and was signed to Trill Entertainment in 2007 when he was just 14 years old. He is best known for his contribution to the single "Independent" by Webbie. He made a number of guest appearances on Trill Entertainment releases before being killed at the age of 19.