Micro-Chopping Missy Elliott: A 20-Track Playlist of Missy’s Finest Production
You know Missy Elliott the rapper, but do you know the impressive catalog of Missy Elliott the producer? If you don’t, you’re not alone. Despite crafting gems for Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Mya, and countless other industry heavyweights, many music fans are unaware of Elliott’s star-studded production resume.
The general lack of awareness has become a point of frustration for Elliott, who believes gender bias is at the heart of the issue. “I always said if a man would have done half the records that I’ve done we would know about it. But we don’t know all the records I’ve done for other artists,” she told the Associated Press in a March 2016 interview.
It’s difficult to argue Elliott’s point. Timbaland is often thought of as the sole producer behind mega-hits like “One Minute Man” and “Pass That Dutch”, even though Elliott co-produced the songs with him. And given the aesthetic similarities between these songs and other Timbaland productions like “Get Ur Freak On” and “Ooops (Oh My)”, one has to wonder if Elliott played a hand in producing them as well. It seems quite possible, as she often earned a writing credit on such songs.
With songwriting and production credits dating all the way back to 1993, Missy really started to hit her stride as a producer in the late 90s and early 2000s. Throughout her predominant years Elliott displayed a unique versatility, floating with ease between uptempo party starters like “One Minute Man” and slow, soulful R & B ballads like Monica’s “So Gone”. Although health complications from Graves’ disease slowed her down for several years, Elliott’s health has improved with treatment and she seems ready to make a return to form.
As she enters a new act of her career, Elliott appears grateful for the opportunities she’s had to work alongside legendary artists despite not getting her just due from critics and fans. “Not many women get credit as producers and writers. I have written/produced classics for many artists. I’m thankful they believed in me,” she tweeted in January of 2015.
And whether or not people are aware of her talents, Elliott still has ultimate confidence in her abilities. “I think it's cool new kids think I'm a new artist,” she tweeted after her epic 2015 Super Bowl performance. “That goes to show you that I'm still on fire and will rip down stages 20 years later.”
With her most recent single “I’m Better” released in late January of 2017 and a new album on the way, it will be interesting to see if her latest project features her own production. While you wait for the album to drop, here’s a selection of 20 choice Missy Elliott productions.