Missy Elliott has displayed a knack for collaboration with her female musical peers since making her debut in the ’90s and crafting hits for some of the hottest rap and R&B stars.
The veteran rapper and songwriter is looking to put even more of an emphasis on solidarity today. She recently voiced admiration for her predecessors while urging the current generation of women to do the same.
“Women have played a big part in what we call hip-hop in, in this culture,” Missy told Forbes. “These women are my friends, and we don’t just come together when it’s time to perform; we speak on the phone and hang around each other.”
The 51-year-old hit-maker continued, adding “I always think about how these are the same women that I looked up to and still do. They have kicked down the doors for all the women you see today in 2023. Even if the women that are out now may not be familiar with all of their records, they have to know that these women are the reason they’re able to be on many of these platforms.”
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The Supa Dupa Fly creator name-checked a few of her biggest influences, revealing that it was Salt-N-Pepa who made her want to become a rapper, praising the trio for having “the whole package” and matching their timeless brand of music with innovative style and flair.
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The Virginia native also touched on her desire to be a role model and confidant to the current generation of female rappers and those coming behind them, recalling her own days of receiving tutelage from some of the biggest icons in the culture. “I had people like Mary J. Blige and Diddy tell me what to do and how to be a go-getter, a hustler, be consistent and be different, things you need in this industry,” she said. “So when you have that mentor, it’s everything, especially someone who has already been on that walk. It’s very important for me to be a big sister to those coming behind me because I had Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and Salt-N-Pepa be that to me.”
Missy Elliott is coming off of an eventful 2022, but has continued to make waves in the new year. The Grammy Award winner performed at this year’s ceremony as part of The Recording Academy’s Hip-Hop 50 tribute, which saw the rapper take the stage for “Lose Control.”
Watch the 65th Annual Grammy Awards’ Hip-Hop 50 performance below.