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#MusicMonday: Best of Missy Elliott


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Don’t ask me who won the Super Bowl, but I damn well know who won the halftime show. As I worship Missy like it was 2002 and I would love nothing more than to run Katy Perry over with a bus, watching Ms. Elliott steal Sunday’s show felt damn good.

I’ve been wanting to do a Best of Queen Missy for a while and her recent slaying of that mediocre evangelical seemed to present the perfect opportunity. In the midst of vacant-eyed Perry singing soulless ditties among beach balls and dancing sharks, Missy came out on fire with three songs created over a decade ago. That “Get Your Freak On,” “Work It,” and “Lose Control” still feel so fresh confirms what I’ve been saying for years – bitch is timeless. In fact, teens on Twitter thought Katy Perry was introducing a new artist, a fact about which Missy displayed numerous crying laughter Emoji’s to her own feed. As if. Each of the songs below, some recorded as long as 18 years ago, prove that Missy was a gift from the future. Quick shout out to Timbaland for producing Ok leggo!

1. “Work It”

  • Album: Under Construction (2002)

  • You betta werq: “if you a fly girl get yo nails done, get a pedicure, get yo hair did”

  • Samples: Run D.M.C.’s “Peter Piper” and “Heart of Glass” by Blondie

  • Fun fact: The song popularized the early 2000’s slang term, “badonkadonk.”

  • Because you’re wondering: The chorus is just “I put my thing down, flip it, and reverse it” played backwards, i.e. reversed. Get it?

2. “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)”

  • Album: Supa Dupa Fly (1997)

  • #Feminism: “my finger waves be dazed, they fall like humpty / chumpy, I break up with him before he dump me.”

  • Samples: Ann Peebles’ “I Can’t Stand the Rain.”

  • Fun fact: The music video for this song, probably my favorite music video of all time, was the first of many Missy videos directed by Hype Williams.

3. “Get Ur Freak On” (2001)

  • Album: Miss E…So Addictive (2001)

  • #Church: “copywritten, so don’t copy me / ya’ll do it sloppily / and ya’ll can’t come close to me.”

  • Because you’re wondering: The beginning of the song is Japanese, and it means: “Everyone start dancing together wildly now. Let’s make some noise, let’s make some noise.”

  • Fun fact: The track is sampled in Bubba Sparxxx’s first single, “Ugly.”

4. “Hit Em Wit Da Hee”

  • Album: Supa Dupa Fly (1997)

  • Hit em wit da WHAT?: According to Urban Dictionary, the song’s title means “to drop a phat beat on all the player hating suckers.”

  • Lil’ Kim for the win: “Night box filled with Benjamins (woo!) / Me and my girl Missy getting’ pissy up in Benigans”

5. “Sock It 2 Me”

  • Album: Supa Dupa Fly (1997)

  • Missy, you aren’t fooling anyone with the dick talk, but you’re still a poet: “I was lookin for affection/ so I decided to go, ‘swing that dick in my direction.’”

  • Because you’re wondering: I have no idea what happened to Da Brat, but I miss her too.

6. “All N My Grill”

  • Album: Da Real World (1999)

  • Rappers love The Waterboy: “Cuz I will jab thee, and slam thee / and bobby boucher yo’ ass, G”

  • Fun fact: For European markets, a version of the song featured French rapper, MC Solaar. Chouette!

7. “She’s a Bitch”

  • Album: Da Real World (1999)

  • #Feminism: The song addresses how the term “bitch” is a double-edged-sword; both a negative slur and a term of female empowerment, commentary which still feels relevant today: “She’s a bitch, when you say my name / talk mo’ junk but won’t look my way / she’s a bitch, see I got more cheese / so back on up while I roll up my sleeves.”

8. “Hot Boyz” (1999)

  • Album: Da Real World (1991)

  • Cameo city: A remix features Nas, Eve, and Q-Tip, and the video features Mary J. Blige, Ginuine, and Timbaland.

  • This is for my ghetto mother fuckers: “you a hot boy, a rock boy / a fun toy, tote a glock boy”

9, “One Minute Man”

  • Album: Missy E…So Addictive (2001)

  • Wikipedia for the win: “Incorporating elements of oriental music, the song deals with premature ejaculation.”

10. “They Don’t Wanna F*** Wit Me” (1997)

  • Album: Supa Dupa Fly (1997)

  • Timbaland = God: This track showcases Timb’s stellar production skills, what critic Steve Huey called his “lean, digital grooves packed with unpredictable arrangements and stuttering rhythms[….] The results are not only unique, they’re nothing short of revolutionary[.]”

11. “Pass that Dutch”

  • Album: This is Not a Test! (2003)

  • Samples: “Magic Mountain” by War and “Potholes in My Lawn” by De La Soul

  • Fun fact: The track is featured in Mean Girls.

  • Aaliyah <3 : Everyone knows Missy had a lesbian crush on the late great Aaliyah Haughton, whose picture adorns Elliott’s desk in the beginning of the music video.

12. “Pass Da Blunt”

  • Album: Supa Dupa Fly (1997)

  • Samples: Musical Youth’s “Pass the Dutchie”

  • N*ggas: “I get him for his figures / A-K-A gold digga / see me with him in a jewelry store / buyin glitta”

  • Bitches: “They mad cuz I be flossin / yeah this pussy costin / the kind that be tossin”

13. “Izzy Izzy Ah” (1997)

  • Album: Supa Dupa Fly (1997)

  • Weird fact: As part of Missy’s promo for this album, she took the stage for the Lilith Fair tour, becoming the first rapper to perform at this event.

14. “Beep Me 911” (1997)

  • Album: Supa Dupa Fly (1997)

  • Why is this list so Supa Dupa Fly heavy? Because it’s a perfect album: “Arguably the most influential album released by a female hip-hop artist, Missy[‘s] debut album [] is a boundary-shattering postmodern masterpiece.” (Steve Huey)

15. “Gossip Folks”

  • Album: Under Construction (2003)

  • Samples: Frankie Smith’s “Double Dutch Bus.”


  • H8rs gon’ h8: The song responds to various rumors about Missy’s weight loss and sexuality; Missy tells ‘em to sit their asses DOWN.

By Anna Dorn

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