Hip Hop History Month - Landing Pages | iOne Local | 2023-10-20
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Women in Hip Hop Missy Elliott

Source: General / Radio One

To wrap up our series celebrating the trailblazing women in Hip-Hop, it is more than appropriate to honor a woman who has changed the way we listen to, look at, and consume not only Hip-Hop, but music as a whole.

Hailing from Portsmouth, Virginia, Missy Elliott immediately established herself as a Jack (or rather, Jill) of all trades. She first broke into the industry as a member of the R&B girl group Sista, recruiting friend Timothy Mosley (a.k.a. Timbaland) to produce.

The collective would catch the attention of Jodeci’s DeVante Swing, who would sign them to his Swing Mob imprint. Sista would get a minor hit with the track “Brand New,” but by 1995, the group (and Missy’s time with Swing Mob) would be a thing of the past.

Missy and Timbaland began working together as a songwriting/production team during the mid-1990s. The pair contributed to hits from Aaliyah, Nicole Wray, Total, SWV, Gina Thompson, and more. And that’s before Missy even released her debut solo album.

Released in 1997, Supa Dupa Fly went platinum and debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200, the highest charting debut for a female MC at the time. Thanks in large part to the iconic music videos directed by Hype Williams, the album was considered a cultural shift.

2023 Essence Festival Of Culture

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

Releasing six platinum selling albums in the US, Elliott is a bonafide hitmaker, whether she was behind the mic or behind the board. Grammys, VMAs, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame… She has all of those and more.

She is also the first female MC to be inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, further solidifying her status as a music genius.

We can go on all day about how Missy Elliott has rightfully earned the nickname “Misdemeanor,” but… we’ll let you see for yourself.

Check out some of her greatest moments below!

1. “The Rain”

2. “Beep Me 911” (ft. 702)

3. “She’s A B**ch”

4. “One Minute Man” (ft. Ludacris & Trina)

5. “Work It”

6. “Take Away/4 My People”

7. “Get Ur Freak On” (From 2001 MTV VMAs)

8. “Lose Control” (ft. Ciara & Fat Man Scoop)

9. 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show w/ Katy Perry

Missy appears at 7:21

10. Missy Reflects On Iconic Career Before Rock Hall Induction