There’s no 2 ways about it: I’m a Missy Elliott evangelist.
The more I listen to her old stuff, the more I’m reminded how much badbitchery Missy’s been engaged in from jump street. Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance and Missy’s recent internet-breaking “WTF” video is everything and more that I’ve wanted for this crop of youngsters. In celebration of Miss E’s latest comeback, allow me to share 10 of my favorites and a playlist.
“Sock It 2 Me”
So much weirdness, so much sexual agency. She actually said her hormones were “jumping’ like a disco”.
“Get Ur Freak On”
The weirdness, genre-mixing, abrupt yelling… it’s everything I love in life in 1 song.
“She’s a Bitch”
People talk “mo junk”. People call you a bitch, then have nothing to say to your face. I was not very socially participatory outside of class in middle school, but I did a lot of observing. Shit talking and not owning it is exactly what I observed and what I found out as an adult to still be true when it comes to politics and celebrity gawking. Timeless.
The beat just… you don’t know what direction you want to go in, but you also want to go in every direction. This is a song you can hurt yourself to if you’re not careful. The Fatman Scoop drop crunkifies it even more than it already is. Just, everything.
Like with “Supa Dupa Fly”, Missy needs no permission on what’s okay for her to talk about. “Go downtown and eat it like a vulture.” This song was unapologetically erotic and the record scratching in the beginning was a helluva intro. Tell me you never said “ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta”. I’ll wait.
“Whatever you must do…” The beat for this has the same all-directions effect on me that “Work It” does. It’s so fun.
The Rain [Supa Dupa Fly]
Missy came out the gate not needing permission. She wasn’t just fly. She wasn’t supa fly. She was supa dupa fly. And she dressed up in a garbage bag; what a nut! The song was mellow, but still funky and the video was dope.
I love how weird this song is, how much stuff doesn’t make sense and the rules of language Missy flaunts, while still having the song sound dope. “Did ya heard?!” is grammatically inaccurate, but we still understood her. What a nut.
“All N My Grill”
This beat had me on the first listen. In 7th or 8th grade, I already didn’t give a damn about a “ring” or whether anyone could “pay my bills”. (This is probably an early glimpse into me being polyamorous, come to think of it.) I understood people all up in my grill, though. I wanted them out. My folks’ marriage was ending, I had too much responsibility for a teenager and I was not the least bit concerned with what my classmates were doing.
“One Minute Man”
I wasn’t yet sexually active when this song came out. But looking back on 8th grade with what I know now, I think this song properly conveyed to me the importance of a fella not being a “one minute man”. If I’m totally honest this song may be part of the breadcrumbs of my upbringing that made me feel entitled to good sex before I started having it. In 8th grade I already understood the male entitlement male rappers exuded in their raps. To hear Ludacris bragging about not being a minute man reflected the pride in their sexual prowess I heard more mature men talk about in real life. I thought, “Well if Luda’s putting in down and he has his pick of women, why isn’t everyone else?” I probably didn’t think it in exactly those terms, but that’s the gist of it. On top of that, I loved that both Missy and Trina were giving instructions, “If you can’t beat it up, then eat it up” and talking about how they expected to have a good time, instead of trying to out-nasty each other. They both had their lanes in this song and didn’t need to cut each other off.