See rare footage of Missy Elliot from 2001
(Credit: Alamy)

Old School Archives

See rare footage of Missy Elliot from 2001

Missy Elliott is one of hip hop’s most cherished female MCs. Rising to prominence by the side of Timbaland in the mid-1990s, the rapper (real name Melissa Elliott) is loved for her funny lyrics, provocative raps and outlandish music videos that leave her listeners mindblown. Known as one of hip hop’s first mainstream female MCs, Missy is definitely one of the greats.

With the Virginia rapper rising to fame during the mid-1990s, her career would not begin properly until her departure from the Swing Mob with Timbaland. Together the two continued to make music working behind the scenes writing and producing for R’n’B acts, such as Aaliyah, SWV and Total. Elliott did feature on some of these tracks. However, in 1997, when Elliott released her debut album, Supa Dupa Fly, her career skyrocketed. 

Elliott’s first album would give the rapper her first top 20 hit with ‘Sock It 2 Me’. The album landed at number three on the Billboard 200, becoming the highest-charting album debut for a female rapper. Continuing to work alongside her good friend Timbaland, Elliot would release her second album, Da Real World, in 1999, and by 2000, the album was quickly certified platinum by the RIAA.  

Missy Elliot would be a permanent figure in the mainstream throughout the noughties, and she has been recognised as a boundary breaker. Elliott was the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 2019.

In her 25-year career, Elliott has released six studio albums, three compilation albums and one EP. Elliot’s third album Miss E…So Addictive, released in 2001, debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and spawned several successful hits, including, ‘One Minute Man’ which had a remix featuring Jay-Z, as well as ‘Get Ur Freak On’. The latter received two Grammy awards for ‘Best Rap Solo Performance’ and ‘Best Female Rap Solo Performance’.

The album was fundamental in Elliott’s career and is legendary to this day. The 2001 album is platinum in both the US and UK and was the prequel to her 2002 album Under Construction which went on to be even more successful. Below you can watch an interview from 2001 featuring Elliott speaking on the album.