Missy Elliott made history over the weekend as she became the first female rapper to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Queen Latifah had the honor of introducing Missy Elliott to the crowd before she was able to perform and showcase her many talents. Latifah called Elliott “one of the greatest producers ever, period,” and reminded the audience of the countless hits she’s written for other artists, including Beyoncé, Janet Jackson and Aaliyah. Latifah also couldn’t forget to mention Elliott’s long-standing partnership with Timbaland which has transformed music and pop culture for decades.
Latifah said to the audience: “We had never heard anything like that in our lives. They opened the door to new possibilities in all aspects on contemporary music, very much including rock and roll, but trust me, nothing sounded the same after Missy came on the scene. All the kick snares and everything changed — the bass lines changed, the pockets changed, the cadence, the writing. And that’s because Missy has always been a futurist, someone who is always looking ahead. She is avant-garde without even trying.”
Of course, Latifah would go on to discuss Elliott’s impact on women in music, as well. Elliott has become a feminist icon in the music industry, constantly pushing boundaries and standing up for what is right, “never be[ing] afraid to speak out about the misconceptions, the stereotypes, and the straight-up misogyny that has been placed — and the obstacles — that have been put in place in the way of women.” Elliott is a true trail-blazer for women all over the world, and becoming the first female Hip Hop artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame only continues that legacy.
After Latifah finished her speech, Missy Elliot took the stage in a sparkling gold suit to show the audience how she earned the honor she did. Elliott went through a medley of the decades, performing her best classics, including “Get Ur Freak Out,” “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” “Work It,” “Pass That Dutch,” and “Lose Control.”
Once she completed her iconic performance, Elliott showed her gratitude and disbelief with the crowd. She thanked numerous people, including her mother, Timbaland and multiple other close friends that were there to support her. She also honored her fellow inductees as well as past inductees, saying “I’m still pinching myself to even be in a room with some of the inductees that I see,” and gave shoutouts to Salt-N-Pepa and Queen Latifah.
Missy Elliott looked back on her time in the industry and the recent 50th anniversary of Hip Hop and got emotional as she told the Hall of Fame: “You just feel like it’s so far to reach when you’re in the hip hop world and to be standing here, it means so much to me . . . I always said I’d rather it don’t work out, but I believed in it. As opposed to you doing something somebody else felt like you should do, and then it don’t work out. Because then you’re just kicking yourself. You have to stay true to yourself.”