So, there are A LOT of people who maybe didn’t know who Missy Elliott was when she came and stole Katy Perry’s Halftime Performance. Some may have known who she was, but never got into her music. Hence the huge spike in Missy’s music on iTunes.
I notice her singles are doing great, but not necessarily her albums. I think if she had some sort of Greatest Hits album available, that would be a hit today, but since she doesn’t (crap! she actually DOES, it’s called “Respect M.E.” but it wasn’t released in the states) some people might be wondering where to start with her actual discography. And I’m here to help!
Here are the 5 Essential Missy Albums I think any one would enjoy.
I picked this as the top choice because it was her most succesful. It had super hits “Get Ur Freak On”, “One Minute Man” and “Take Away”, but aside from that I think this album is probably her most FUN and her most diverse. I mean she has great R&B (“Old School Joint”, the aforementioned “Take Away”, “Step Off” with Tweet) and some great Hip Hop (“Slap Slap Slap”, “Dog in Heat” with Method Man), and there’s even a really good dance song on here that will blow your mind (“4 My People” featuring an amazing verse from Eve). It’s a really well rounded album, and I think that it being her third that she had become really comfortable in what she was doing. So, yeah start with this one.
The 5 BEST : Old School Joint, Get Ur Freak On, Take Away, One Minute Man, X-Tasy
This debut is INSANE, and surprisingly not dated. You have to realize that the introduction of Missy also meant the introduction of her producer Timbaland who went on to become a big star just like Missy. At the time of this release, those Timbaland beats were so new and unique and totally not like anything you had ever heard before. I think because both of them were so new, the album and it’s production have a tendency to get kind of one-note towards the end. It’s also a little moody and slow towards the end, but the album is definitely front-loaded with some #BANGERZ. This is a good place to follow up, but don’t lose all faith in Missy if you don’t like this entire album.
The 5 BEST : Friendly Skies, The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly), Beep Me 911, Pass da Blunt, Sock It 2 Me
Missy’s 4th album was also her attempt at creating a concept album, as “Under Construction” deals with her trying to re-build Hip Hop. And there are songs like “Wake Up” and “Back in the Day” that go along with that message. The album is overall really fun though because almost every song pulls from something out of the Old School Hip Hop days of the 80’s, like “Funky Fresh Dressed” or even hit singles “Work It” and “Gossip Folks” that have huge chunks of samples from 80’s Hip Hop classics. Mixing the old with the new was a genius idea, and paying homage to an era that MADE her the artist she is was also a nice touch, making this a really enjoyable album.
The 5 BEST : Gossip Folks, Work It, Go To the Floor, Nothin’ Out There, Funky Fresh Dressed
Personally this is my favorite album by Missy, it’s really dark in both lyric and production vibes. It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but for me I loved it because she and Timbaland continued to look forward and make innovative beats that no one ever heard of. Among the stand outs are first single “She’s A Bitch”, the Eminem assisted “Bus a Rhyme”, the ratchet-“The Boy Is Mine” track with Lil Mo “You Don’t Know”, the Beyonce duet “Crazy Feelings” and the Cash Money all star featured “U Can’t Resist”. Those songs right there show the diversity of the album, from hardcore rap sounds to slow jammed R&B. It might be one you have to grow into, but it’s definitely a great and timeless album.
The 5 BEST : She’s a Bitch, Crazy Feelings, Smooth Chick, U Can’t Resist, You Don’t Know
Simply because this 2005 album was the very last time we’d be able to buy a new album from Missy. OVERALL it was a decent outing, but something felt OFF. For one, she worked with more producers and actually Timbaland’s productions aren’t even the majority here as we have some from Pharrell “On and On” and some from Rich Harrison “Can’t Stop” and some Scott Storch “Meltdown”. In fact, Timbaland only produces two songs on here so that’s probably why the album felt a little odd. Still I think this is essential (I actually prefer “This is Not a Test” to this album) because it was her last recording, and whenever she comes out with new material you will know where she left off musically.
The 5 BEST : Lose Control, Joy, Partyime, Can’t Stop, Click Clack