Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Missy Elliott (born Melissa Arnette Elliott on July 1, 1971 in Portsmouth, Virginia) is an African American singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer. Formerly known as Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, Elliott dropped the "Misdemeanor" part of her name in 2003 and now goes by simply "Missy Elliott".
Elliott is the first female hip hop superstar, known for a long series of hits including "The Rain", "She's A Bitch", "Get Ur Freak On", and "Work It". In addition, she has received recognition as one of the most successful songwriters of the modern music era, having crafted a number of hit records for artists such as Aaliyah, 702, Total, Nicole Wray, and Tweet, often with production partner and childhood friend Timbaland.
In the late-1980s, Elliott, LaShawn Shellman, Chonita Coleman, and Radiah Scott formed an R&B group called Sista, for which Elloitt served as a singer and songwriter. She recruited her neighborhood friend Timothy "DJ TImmy Tim" Mosley as the group's producer, and began making demo tracks. In 1991, Sista caught the attention of Jodeci member/producer DeVante Swing by performing Jodeci songs acapella for him backstage after one of his group's concerts. In short order, Sista moved to New York City, now signed to Elektra Records through DeVante's Swing Mob imprint. Elliott took along with her Mosley, whom DeVante re-christened Timbaland, and their friend Melvin "Magoo" Barcliff.
All 20-plus members of the Swing Mob, among them future stars such as Ginuwine, Playa, and Tweet, all lived in a single two-story house in New York, and were often at work on material both for Jodeci and for their own projects. Elliott contributed songwriting duties, both credited and uncredited, to the final two Jodeci albums: 1993's Diary of a Mad Band and 1995's The Show, The After Party, The Hotel. Timbaland and DeVante produced a Sista LP, 4 All the Sistas Around the World, which was completed in 1994, but shelved and never released. By 1995, Swing Mob had folded and many of its members dispersed; Elliott, Timbaland, Magoo, Ginuwine, and Playa remained together, and would collaborate on each others' records for the rest of the decade.
Elliott/Mosley songwriting/production team
After leaving Swing Mob, Elliott and Timbaland began working together as an independent songwriting/production team, and the two of them crafted hit singles for a number of artists between 1995 to 1997. Among these acts were SWV ("Can We?") and 702 ("Steelo" and its remix), but the most notable of them was Aaliyah. Elliott and Timbaland wrote and produced nine tracks for Aaliyah's second album, One In A Million (1996), among them the hit singles "If Your Girl Only Knew", "One in a Million", "Hot Like Fire", and "4-Page Letter". Elliott also contributing background vocals and/or guest raps to nearly all of the tracks she and Timbaland worked on. One in a Million went double-platinum and made stars out of the production duo. Elliott and Timbaland would continue to work together for other artists, and later created hits for artists such as Total ("What About Us"), Nicole Wray ("Make it Hot"), and Destiny's Child ("Get On the Bus"), and one final hit for Aaliyah before her 2001 death ("I Care 4 U").
Elliott also appeared as a guest rapper and background vocalist on MC Lyte's 1996 single "Cold Rock A Party", produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs, who hoped to sign her to Bad Boy Records. She instead signed a deal with Elektra Records in 1996 to create her own imprint, Goldmind, for which she would record as a solo artist. Timbaland was again recruited as her production partner, a role he would hold for every Elliott solo release.
Her debut album, released in mid-1997, was Supa Dupa Fly, which included "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)", a blockbuster hit that established Elliott as a major force in popular music. Other singles included "Beep Me 911," which featured 702, Timbaland, and Magoo; "Hit 'Em Wit Da Hee," featuring rapper Mocha and Timbaland; and "Sock It 2 Me," a decent-sized hit which featured rhymes from Da Brat and a cameos by her and Lil Kim in the Mega Man-inspired music video. The critical acceptance of Supa Dupa Fly was mixed, though generally positive; many critics commented that the album tracks, some of which sampled Elliott/ Mosley hits such as "Can We" and "One in a Million", were far inferior to the singles. 1997 also saw Elliott perform on Lil Kim's girl-power anthem, a hit remix of her song, "Not Tonite". The song's remix also featured Da Brat, Angie Martinez, and Left Eye, in addition to Kim and Elliott; and the five women performed it at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards show.
In 1998, Elliott continued her successful music career by writing and producing Total's single "Trippin'", as well as working with several others in the hip-hop and R&B communities. The same year, Elliott produced and contributed background vocals and some rhymes to former Spice Girl, Mel B's, debut single, "I Want You Back".
Elliott's second album was just as successful as the first. Da Real World (1999, see 1999 in music) included the singles "All N My Grill," a collaboration with Nicole and Big Boi (from OutKast); "Hot Boyz;" and "She's A Bitch".
Elliott next released Miss E... So Addictive in (2001, see 2001 in music). That album produced the massive singles, "One Minute Man," featuring Ludacris, Trina, and Jay-Z and "Get Ur Freak On," as well as the less successful single "Take Away," which featured soulful melodies from Ginuwine and a returning Tweet, and whose video was made into a loving tribute for their late friend, Aaliyah. For "Get Ur Freak On", an usual remix was also released, which combined scat-singing from Nelly Furtado with Elliott's original rapping. The remix performed just as successfully as the original and was the version which was heard both in the Tomb Raider movie that year and on its soundtrack.
Tweet's own debut single, "Oops (Oh My)", was written by Elliott and relased through Goldmind in February 2002. The single was a Top Ten hit, thanks partially to Elliott's songwriting and guest rap, and also Timbaland's funky production.
Elliott's fourth album, 2002's Under Construction (see 2002 in music), included "Work It", arguably Elliott's biggest hit to date, and the successful duet with Ludacris, "Gossip Folks," which let Elliott's critics know what she thought of what they had to say about her, namely her amazingly rapid weight loss that had taken place during 2002. As the "Work It" video had done during 2002, "Gossip Folks" became one of the most-played music videos on MTV, MTV2, MTV Jams, and BET in 2003, and was also extremely successful on VH1 and VH1 Soul. Under Construction also included "Back in the Day", a nostalgic ode to old school hip hop music and fashion that featured Jay-Z and Tweet.
In the summer of 2003, Elliott was the featured rapper on Timbaland and Magoo's long-awaited return single, "Cop That Disc"; the song was a modest hit at urban radio. Elliott's newest singles, "Pass The Dutch" and "I'm Really Hot", from her fifth album, This Is Not A Test! (released November 2003), both rose the urban charts. However, neither caught on at pop radio as well as her previous efforts have. The same year, Elliott was featured on Wyclef Jean's "Party To Damascus" and Ghostface Killah's "Tush, Tush, Tush" singles, and had a pivitol role in the motion picture Honey, starring Jessica Alba.
Over a decade after she first began offering songwriting and production services, Missy Elliott is still as widely recognized and respected by her peers as ever.
- 1997: Supa Dupa Fly
- 1999: Da Real World
- 2001: Miss E...So Addictive
- 2002: Under Construction
- 2003: This Is Not A Test!
- 1997: "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)"
- 1997: "Sock It 2 Me" (featuring Da Brat)
- 1998: "Beep Me 911" (featuring 702 and Magoo)
- 1998: "Hit 'Em Wit Da Hee" (featuring Timbaland & Mocha)
- 1999: "She's A Bitch"
- 1999: "All N My Grill" (featuring Nicole Wray and Big Boi of OutKast)
- 2000: "Hot Boyz" [remix] (featuring Nas, Eve, and Q-Tip)***
- 2001: "Get Ur Freak On"
- 2001: "Get Ur Freak On" [remix] (featuring Nelly Furtado) *
- 2001: "One Minute Man" (featuring Ludacris and Trina)
- 2001: "One Minute Man" [remix] (featuring Jay-Z) *
- 2001: "Lick Shots"**
- 2001: "Take Away" (featuring Ginuwine and Tweet)
- 2002: "4 My People" (club single) **
- 2002: "Work It"
- 2002: "Gossip Folks" (featuring Ludacris)
- 2003: "Work It" [remix] (featuring 50 Cent)
- 2003: "Pussycat" *
- 2003: "Pass The Dutch"
- 2004: "I'm Really Hot"
(*) radio-only single; did not have a music video.
(**) "Lick Shots" had no unique music video, but a snippet of the song was included at the end of the "Get Ur Freak On" video; "4 My People" was similarly a "mini-video" at the end of the "Take Away" video.
(***) Q-Tip appears on the radio version of the “Hot Boyz” remix, but not the video version. Although she is not credited, Lil Mo sings guest leads and background vocals on the single, and appears in the video as well.
Guest appearance credits
Only included here are records Elliott did not write or produce on; singles upon which she did songwriting/production work in addiiton to providing guest vocals are notabed below in the Selected songwriting/production credits section.
- 1996: "Cold Rock A Party" by MC Lyte
- 1997: "Can We" by SWV
- 1997: "Not Tonite (Ladies Night)" [remix] with Lil' Kim, Da Brat, Angie Martinez, and Left Eye
- 2002: "Son Of A Gun" [Original Flyte Time Remix] by Janet Jackson
- 2003: "American Life" [remix] by Madonna *
- 2003: "Cop That Disc" by Timbaland & Magoo
- 2003: "Party To Damascus" by Wyclef Jean;
- 2003: "Tush, Tush, Tush" by Ghostface Killah
- 2004: "Car Wash" by Christina Aguilera
(*) radio-only single; did not have a music video.
Selected songwriting/production credits
- 1996: ”Steelo” by 702 (also guested)
- 1996: ”If Your Girl Only Knew” by Aaliyah
- 1996: ”One in a Million” by Aaliyah
- 1997: "Can We" by SWV (also guested)
- 1997: ”I’ll Do Anything/I’m Sorry” by Ginuwine
- 1997: ”What About Us?” by Total
- 1998: "Trippin'" by Total (also guested)
- 1998: "Make It Hot" by Nicole Wray (also guested)
- 1998: "I Want You Back" by Mel B. (also guested)
- 1999: "Heartbreaker [Remix]" by Mariah Carey featuring Da Brat (also guested)
- 2000: ”Take That” by Torrey Carter (also guested)
- 2001: ”Lady Marmalade” by Mya, Pink, Christina Aguilera, and Lil Kim
- 2001: "Bootylicious [Rockwilder Remix]" by Destiny's Child (also guested)
- 2002: ”I Care 4 U” by Aaliyah
- 2002: "Oops! (Oh My!)" by Tweet (also guested)
- 2003: ”So Gone” by Monica (also guested)
- 2003: ”(My Love is Like) Wo” by Mya
- 2004: "1, 2, Step" by Ciara (also guested)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details