Missy Elliott is one of popular music’s greatest innovators. This year is the 25th anniversary of Missy’s classic debut album, Supa Dupa Fly. When that album dropped, Missy’s unconventional rhyme schemes paired with her childhood friend Timbaland’s futuristic production set a precedent for what was creatively possible in hip-hop. And throughout her career, Missy’s maintained that same level of playful creativity.
This year Missy broke records when she was recognized as having more platinum albums than any other female rapper. She’s also the first female MC to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for songs she’s written for Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child, and Aaliyah’s biggest hits: “One In A Million,” and “If Your Girl Only Knew.”
Today, Rick Rubin talks to Missy Elliott about her wide-reaching influence and creative process. She explains what it was like writing for Aaliyah, who was one of the first artists to embrace Missy and Timbaland’s unique style. She also talks about why she and Timbaland made a pact not to listen to any other music while recording her debut album.
Hear a playlist of all of our favorite Missy Elliott songs HERE.