Don't Sleep On Missy
by Scarlet Waters
Missy Elliot proves that Funky things can come in small packages. This 5”2 cauldron of funk burst onto the scene with her own brand of Southern Rap reminding us that the party was not over yet. Despite her reputation as class clown and now #1 greatest selling female Hip-Hop artist of all time however, Missy’s childhood was far from a party.
Missy overcame a childhood afflicted with tremendous poverty, violence, and abuse, as well as being a victim of rape, to become a world-famous Hip-Hop artist, writer, and producer. Missy Elliot’s roster of writing and production credits and collaborations with other artists is longer than any I have ever seen. Having the phenomenally funky futuristic grooves of prolific producer Timbaland as a foundation guaranteed music history, but what most people don’t know, is that Missy is responsible for bringing Timbaland into the music business and his eventual success, most notably for producing tracks for mega-star Aaliyah, who we lost much too soon.
Before Missy even began her solo career, she had already written and produced numerous successful hits for a multitude of artists including Aaliyah, SWV, Ginuwine, Tweet, Raven Symone, Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Total, Destiny’s Child, Whitney Houston, Spice Girls’ Melanie Brown, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Keyshia Cole, Jazzmine Sullivan, Monica, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, and Kelly Rowland.
Since her solo debut album Supa Dupa Fly in 1997, which hit #3 on Billboard 200 making it the highest-charting debut for a female rapper at that time, producing hit singles The Rain and Sock it 2 Me, Missy has worked with Craig Mack, Sean “Puffy” Combs, MC Lyte, Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill, Faith Evans, Lil Kim, Da Brat, TLC, Big Boi (from Outkast), Mariah Carey, Ludacris, Jay Z, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Ciara, Swizz Beats, T-Pain, Busta Rhymes, Chris Brown, Katy Perry, J. Cole, Kelly Clarkson, Janelle Monae, and Zendaya.
On top of the unique sound that Missy created collaborating with Timbaland, her video’s featured brand new styles of dancing in a cutting edge futuristic style directed by ground-breaking video director Harold “Hype” Williams that increased her popularity. Missy Elliot quickly crossed over from R&B and Hip-Hop to the Pop market, garnering international attention for I Want You Back by former Spice Girl Melanie Brown which topped the UK Singles Chart, and earned a nomination for Best International Female Artist at the 2006 BRIT Awards from Lose Control on her 6th album.
Aside from her numerous Grammy nominations, 4 Grammy awards, and 30 million songs sold just in the U.S., when the D.J. puts on Sock It To Me, Rain, Hot Boyz, or Work It, the party jumps OFF. Even in 2020, you can’t go wrong with the Funk!