Missy Elliott, the Goddess of Rap

Missy Elliott, the Goddess of Rap

Claudia Maddaluno

Last weekend, the Queen of Rap Missy Elliott shared via Twitter some videos showing her in studios with Timbaland to let fans know she’s arriving with new music.

This Wednesday, another fantastic news: Missy Elliott is the first female rapper to be nominated for The Songwriters Hall Of Fame, the NAPM project that will realize a museum dedicated to the most important US music artists.

This prestigious nomination sounds like a deserved recognition for Missy, key artist in the history of rap, especially since she has always fought against the gender taboos and now she is the first female rapper to receive that nomination.

Missy Misdemeanor Elliott has broken a lot of music stereotypes and cliches, singing about sex and pleasure while wearing a giant plastic black bag suit.

When she debuted with her first single, The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly), in 1997, The Spice Girls preached the GIRL POWER wearing vinyl mini dresses. At the same time, Missy appeared as a goddess of prosperity in exaggerated form.

Her first album Supa Dupa Fly ,featuring Busta Rhymes, Lil Kim, Aaliyah, Timbaland and Da Brat, was futuristic and she knew it (we can read in an interview for The New Yorker: We give our music a futuristic feel. I don’t make music or videos for 1997—I do it for the year 2000)

Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. were murdered in 1997 but Missy’s lyrics were not about violence, drugs or tragedy: she used to sing about amusement, sex and sexual freedom. In that era, the male dominated the music industry but Missy was already the head of her label GoldMind Inc, which released the album.

So Missy and her partner in crime Timbaland were building a new hip hop songwriting, preferring not to sample but using amazing breakbeats. Throughout the album Missy never talks about love or true romance: she sings of a need for sex and this tracks were especially innovative coming from a black woman.

Everyone in the world realized that Missy was different from the others: that’s why Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson or Mel B asked her to remix and produce their music.

Supa Dupa Fly follow-up, Da Real World, features Beyoncé, Eminem, Big Boi (Outkast) and contains tracks like All N My Grill and Hot Boyz that made the history as well as the story of my adolescence.

At the beginning of the Y2K, Missy Elliott dropped another album called Miss E… So Addictive that opens with the promise of “some shit that you never heard before” and the funk od Dog In Heat.

Soul, right flow, warrior synths, freestyle verses and her delicious R&B made the kingdom of the Queen of Rap: Missy had no peer (and probably will have none).

The fourth album Under Construction confirmed her uniqueness in the rap landscapes: with a futurist style and the frenetic productions of Timbaland, Missy became a pop phenomenon and and one of hip-hop artists to watch.
Do I really have to talk about Work It?

Best single and video of that year.

The years rolled by and Missy was unstoppable, taking part in movies and fashion industry and dropping four albums including a greatest hits (This Is Not A Test, The Cookbook and Block Party in 2011).

But suddenly she fell from platinum to silence.

Of course Missy never stopped playing in our bedrooms, or stereo, or parties and the new generation of female / hip-hop rappers see her as its goddess (SZA, for example, dreams of a collaboration).

Now that we know for sure that Missy will return, we need her new music even more: we need her breaking rules with new album and dream of a fucking pink project with Solange, Beyoncé, SZA, Cardi B, Kehlani, Jorja Smith and Syd led by Missy Misdemeanor Elliott.

Is it worth it?
Yes, Missy. Work on it soon.

Written by Claudia Maddaluno
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