In the industry, there are a few women whom you can call a multi-talented phenomenal artist. The music world was blessed to gain a female singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer such as the supa dupa fly Missy Elliott. Throughout the years, Missy Elliott has commanded attention through her music or collaborations with multiple artists. The triumphs in her music career has gained her the credibility as an one-of-a-kind innovator. Missy boldly steps out the limelight and reenters continuing her road, as if she never left. The Virginia-native delivers excellence in cultivating her craft despite her absence throughout the years.
The first time I discovered Missy Elliot was when I listened to her mid-1997 certified platinum album, Supa Dupa Fly. Following that was her music video in which was produced by Hype Williams whom created many avant-garde music videos of that era. Prior to that album, Missy was part of the R&B group Fayze (later called Sista) alongside Timbaland as the group’s producer. By the end of 1995, after the group Sista was signed to Elektra Records through DeVante’s Swing Mob imprint, they split. Aside from her partaking in the group, she’s written multiple songs for Jodeci’s 1993 and 1995 albums. Yet, the good thing that came out from that split was the connection of Missy with Timbaland, Magoo, Ginuwine, and Playa, whom in the future she collaborated with.
This was just the beginning for Missy, as she was still striving to reach the pinnacles she planned to reach. From 1996-1998, Missy went full force when it came to songwriting and producing with her partner Timbaland. She mastered in creating hits for artist such as, SWV, 702, Destiny’s Child, Total, Nicole Wray, Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs, and baby-girl Aaliyah. Having Aaliyah’s “One In A Million” track go double-platinum. Missy contributed on everything from background vocals to rap features on songs by artists such as Puffy and Lil’ Kim. Missy Elliott and Timbaland were the dynamic duo of the century that every artist wanted to work with. Yeah, I know that this is about Missy but truth be told everywhere she went, Timbaland was right by her side. She co-produced, song-wrote, did background vocals, and rapped, but in-between all of that she found the time to work on her own project. In mid-1997, her debut album, “Supa Dupa Fly” was released through her own imprint The Goldmind Inc. introducing it to the world. Now, this is a woman that became a beast in the music industry taking it by storm and no one could stop her. A power woman that till’ this day that I look up to with pride.
One of my all-time favorite is Missy’s 1999 album, Da Real World, that included the track(s) “All N My Grill” and “Hot Boyz”, now many of you can relate to those tracks. The originality of the tracks combined with the music videos is unexplainable that no one of this era can come close to it. I’m sure that after selling approximately 3 million copies of this second album, she felt fucking amazing. Going down memory lane, we cannot forget her 2001 album Miss E… Addictive. Now that album I probably memorized every single track and every music video she released I knew the choreography. At 13 years old, I spent my vacation watching MTV and rewinding, fast-forwarding the music videos. I made my mother buy me a camo jacket and pants just so I can reenact the music videos. I was a virgin, getting my freak on and singing about one-minute men, without fully living it. Soon after, the world got the breaking news about 911 and Aaliyah’s plane crash accident that caused her life. The track, “Take Away / 4 My People” was Missy’s tribute to Aaliyah singing a slow ballad. With Aaliyah’s death, it was extremely hard for Missy, whom she worked with for years.
In 2002, her fourth album Under Construction dropped winning her a Best Rap Album and Album of the Year. That album was definitely considered on of the best Hip-Hop albums of the year, and due to the old school-funky samples that was implemented. Missy’s career had skyrocket to the top, taking her to the Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart, GRAMMY nominations, MTV awards, and having the most played music videos such as “Get Your Freak On”. Then a year later, This Is Not A Test had released but it did not have the same success as her previous albums. Even though that was not as successful, it never stopped Missy to move on to the next thing. Continuing that, was the album Cookbook where she used other production besides Timbaland giving her five GRAMMY nominations. Then to finish it off, it was “Respect M.E.”, becoming the second top ten album in the U.K.
Through 2007-2014, Missy Elliott collaborated with even more artists such as Monica, Keyshia Cole, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, and the list goes on. At the moment, Missy Elliot has taken a break from making records as she had mentioned in an interview. She fucking blew up throughout the years as a collaborator, innovator, producer, writer, singer, actor, and anything–everything you can think of. One of the best moments of 2015 was when she performed at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show with Katy Perry, as she was received with open arms. That day nothing mattered but watching Missy slay that performance, as if it was the first time seeing her and for some, it was. The funny part is that many of the ‘young’ audience thought that she was an up-and-coming artist, whom had accompanied Katy Perry — deadass. As we all know, that’s not the truth, but one good thing came from it. There was a boost in music sales.
By the looks of it, Missy is not going anywhere, and years can go by and it will always feel like day one. It’s amazing to think about the impact that she has as a woman in this industry. The fact that I was able to grow up listening to her music and mimicking her gives me fucking life. For many, Missy Elliott has been an outlet to better themselves and to believe that everything is possible, if you apply yourself especially for women. Even after she was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, it does not seem to stop her. We miss Missy and we will forever miss her, even after she steps away from the stage for just a minute.
No one can fuck with Missy, and they will never be able to duplicate her.