Never lose faith !! A five-time Grammy Award-winning, Missy Elliott’s story as a successful rapper, singer, songwriter, dancer and producer!
Virginia Beach rapper-singer, Missy Elliott released her debut album, Supa Dupa Fly. The album bounded her into popular consciousness. Featuring her playful rhymes and lush harmonies, Supa Dupa Fly debuted at Number Three on the Billboard 200.
It earned crazy reviews, picked up two Grammy nominations. It was the sound of mainstream hip-hop.
Afraid to record a solo album
In the early nineties, Missy Elliott started her career in the girl group called Sista. It was during Swing Mob’s brief lifespan that Elliott and other future stars including Timbaland, Ginuwine, Playa, and Tweet sharpen their craft and found their unique sound.
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) June 2, 2017
Elliott grabbed the spotlight with a guest appearance and started writing hits for other artists.
But even when Elektra Records offered Elliott her own signature the rapper was hesitated about making an album of her own part of the deal.
Sylvia Rhone, The CEO of Elektra told in 1999,
“I think she realized her confidence level had grown with the success of the writing and the featured lines she was doing.”
Bad Boy Records tried to sign her
A lil chubby chick from VA I had to hustle my ass off! Many doors were shut so God opened others! I will try to use my platform more often to keep you all uplifted because I know 💩 get tough out here & many of u feel like giving up but My advice to u is Never lose FAITH🙌🏾 Let no1 tell u that u aren't capable! I'm a walking testimony of how many thought I wouldn't succeed! God has the last say🙌🏾YOU CAN DO IT! Lastly stay HUMBLE💯
She was celebrated by many as an inventive When Missy Elliott burst onto the scene in 1997.
But of course, Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs was right there in the video for ‘The Rain,’ dancing with Missy and giving her his co-sign. He would actually campaign for a bigger role in her career.
After Elliott kicked her star-making ‘hee-hee-hee-hee-how’ flow on the Bad Boy remix of Gina Thompson’s 1996 single ‘The Things That You Do,’ Combs tried to sign her, ultimately losing out to Elektra.
Supa Dupa Fly recorded in one week
Elliott’s album has recorded the bulk of Supa Dupa Fly‘s beats and vocals in the space of a week.
Including Busta Rhymes and other famous guests took a trip down to Missy’s hometown. He mentions in the album’s intro that,
“I just came out here, an hour and 25 minutes in one of the Gilligan’s Island shits from New York to Virginia.”
Did not actually chart on the Hot 100 due to a technicality
Supa Dupa Fly‘s lead single was a massive hit on both radio and MTV. And yet, it never charted on the Hot 100.
In the Nineties, labels began to phase out commercially available singles. It means many major hits were only issued on promotional singles sent to radio stations. That means consumers wanting that hit would have to buy the entire album to have it.
Billboard‘s longstanding rule that a song must be commercially available. It began to disqualify some very popular songs.
In the summer of 1997, songs like Sugar Ray’s ‘Fly’ and Will Smith’s ‘Men in Black’ might have hit Number One on the Hot 100 if their singles had been sold in stores.
Elliott did not get on the Hot 100 for her first solo hit because it wasn’t initially released on a physical format. ‘The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)’ did reach Number Four on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
‘Sock It 2 Me,’ released commercially, peaked at Number 12 on the Hot 100. Billboard revised its rule By the end of 1998s and Missy begin a long string of hits on the chart.