Photo credits: The Goldmind/Elektra Records
Multi-faceted musician Missy Elliot (formerly a member of the R&B group Sista) made a big debut in 1997 when her first solo album titled Supa Dupa Fly took to the skies after its mid-summer release.
Elliot’s generous, 17-track solo offering spawned four top 10 Billboard-certified singles, featured some of the hottest guest acts of the decade, and quickly went platinum. The LP sold millions of copies around the world and was backed by Elektra Records, one of the most successful major record labels in American history.
When it came time for Elliot’s second full-length release, the then-budding lady music mogul was ready – even though according to a press interview, she was slightly concerned about what professional musicians call a “sophomore slump.” This is classified as an underwhelming follow-up to a groundbreaking debut project.
However, for Missy the magnificent musical mastermind, no such slump occurred.
A few weeks before her 28th birthday, the “Round & Round” co-songwriter and co-producer dropped her classic second album titled Da Real World. Elliot’s platinum sophomore album was released on June 22, 1999 – toward the end of what could arguably be identified as the best musical decade of hip-hop and R&B releases of all time.
Elliot certainly made her mark among such greatness with her second solo project. It spawned three singles, which became hits. It featured a solid guest appearance by the then 18-year-old Beyoncé, a superstar who has blossomed into one of the most powerful figures that have ever reigned in black music history.
A key ingredient of the success, which rocketed Elliot to prominence was the thunderous beats and magical melodies – supplied by mega-producer and early Elliot mentor: Mr. Timothy “Timbaland” Mosely.
Mosley’s contributions to Supa Dupa Fly and Da Real World can never be denied. Elliot is also a great producer in her own right. The production and songwriting work Mosley and Elliot have together while producing other artists is creatively unmatched. The multi-platinum results speak for themselves.
Case in point: Singer Ginuwine’s “I’ll Do Anything (I’m Sorry),” a dope R&B song with a plush Stevie Wonder sample.
Now 50, Elliot is still mentioned among the greats when it comes to everything she does, including songwriting, music production, performing, videography, and serving as a business executive. According to a December 2021 article from Billboard Magazine, Timbaland claimed to be working with Missy on her seventh solo album.
Hopefully, for the sake of today’s hyper-sexualized and soulless female-presented subgenre of the hip-hop world, Elliot can inject something into the real world that will save the day. When a major rap mogul/hip-hop lyricist (Dwayne “Lil’ Wayne” Carter) recently named Elliot in his top five, without question, a big message was sent.
The game needs her.