So I held this week's inspiration back a day because of who it is--the one and only Missy Elliot and today is her birthday! While I don't seem the type to roll hard and deep in the hip hop world there is just something about the one and only Missy that totally gets me going and that is a true inspiration
This is one of the best videos of all time--trash bag couture people!
The thing about Elliot's music is not just her lyrical strength and stupefying beats--it's who she is and what she represents... As one of the first true hip hop artists to go main street with a solid street sound, she's also a strong woman who uses her sex, her unique body and fixation with sexuality in a strong feminist way. She doesn't pander to her men, her audience or her industry but instead created her own spot in the genre.
I think that hip hop is probably of the hardest genres of music to be in if you dont conform to their ideals-and as a woman it is looking a certain way, talking a certain way and taking a certain tack when it comes to marketing and promotion. Missy broke the rules by putting out what she felt more than what she was told to do--she didn't need to have rivalries or drop 30 pounds to make her sound matter.
Makes me wish I could rap backwards--even if it is a studio trick
And when it comes to her producing--she's not afraid to use unusually beats, vocal tricks and cultural influences to create something that is beyond easy pop or mix tape ready. She is the reason that we can have people like Kayne West, Frank Ocean and even Erykah Badu--she made the unusual and the unexpected something that the marketplace could handle and want.
I NEED to learn the hallway dance top to bottom--so perfect
And finally my favorite thing about her music is that Missy has a sense of humor about herself, hip hop and life in general. I don't think you can listen to "Gossip Folks" and not come away without wanting to hang with her--and the video is just as colorful, funny and interesting as she is. And while she doesn't drop albums the same way anymore--she is still producing and driving the sound of hip hop on her own terms. And that deserves my admiration--and her own national holiday!