As addictive as ever
Dale Maplethorpe
12:51 20th May 2021

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Thanks to hits like ‘Work It’ and ‘Get Ur Freak On’, that, despite being over 20 years-old, continue to be certified floor fillers, we’re all aware on some level or other of Missy Elliott. Now though, on the 20th anniversary of her album Miss E… So Addictive, it’s hard to look back at her career and not conclude that she is one of the most criminally-underrated rappers to ever pick up a mic. 

Missy’s linking up with production prodigy Timbaland led to one of the longest and most successful runs of singles and albums in late nineties rap. From ‘Supa Dupa Fly’ to ‘Under Construction’, Missy continued to deliver with track after track after track, and nothing epitomises this more than the absolutely ground-breaking Miss E… So Addictive. 

What Missy Elliot and Timbaland manage to achieve with this album is something that has only been done previously by some of the greatest musical minds to walk the earth, including Lee Hazlewood, Giorgio Moroder and Prince. She expanded on the very definition of good pop music.

From the opening line, Missy promises “Me and Timbaland gon’ give that shit you never heard before,” which they deliver on within the space of a couple tracks. ‘Dog In Heat’, ‘One Minute Man’ and ‘Lick Shots’ all set the tone for the album right away. A futuristic type of RnB filled with sex, intricate lyricism and some of the most gripping and fun hooks ever. 

With this album, Missy and Timbaland remade rap and RnB for themselves. It became experimental, but experimental in a way that didn’t shut out their existing audience. It expanded what people felt like they could do with the genre. In the same way that Run DMC opened rap music up for cross-genre collaboration with Rock Box, and Outkast paved the way for southerners in rap with Elevators, this album let the entire industry know that rap, RnB and pop could merge together in whatever way people wanted it to. 

The innovation of Miss E… So Addictive doesn’t get the credit it deserves as it’s lucidity and freedom set the foundation that musicians ever since have been building on. These include Pharell Williams outfit The Neptunes, Brockhampton and Tkay Maizda. There are many more names you could add to that list but the fact that those acts stem throughout the 20 years following the release of Miss E… So Addictive shows just how much of a game changer it was. 

The features on this album are also amazing, as everyone who gives a verse does so in a way which adds to each track. Ludacris delivers one of the horniest and innuendo filled verses of his career, whilst Missy and Timbaland set the ball on the tee for the likes of Redman, Method Man, Ginuwine and Da Brat, who all knock it out of the park. 

Missy Elliot is recognised as a successful rapper, sure, but the influence she has had on music as well as her ability to put together pop songs infused with rap and RnB, goes criminally unnoticed. Missy Elliot and Timbaland have done more for rap music than Dr Dre and Eminem ever have and yet, the actual impact they had on the game gets swept up in crowds of drunk people singing, “ti esrever dna ti plif nwod gnaht am tup I”. 

If you want any indication as to just how influential and timeless this record is, put it on and then listen to Brockhampton’s Saturation albums and tell me you can’t hear the direct impact. Do the same thing with NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES or Homegrown or Last Year Was Weird. The stamp that Missy Elliot left on a generation of musicians can still be heard proudly today.

If she released it now, Miss E...So Addictive would still be an instant classic. Missy… so addictive? She still is. 

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Photo: Press