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Missy Elliott and Her Feminist Legacy Inducted Into the Songwriters Hall of Fame

Missy Elliott and Her Feminist Legacy Inducted Into the Songwriters Hall of Fame

Missy Elliott

Veteran emcee and songwriter Missy Elliott, whose music makes us lose control, will be the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Missy’s debut platinum-selling album Supa Dupa Fly, released in 1997, is touted as one of the greatest debut albums of all time, selling 1.2 million copies and changing the rap landscape for the better. She brought us hits including “Get Ur Freak On,” Work It,” and “Lose Control.” Most importantly, she gave Black girls the social permission to be different and live unapologetically out of the box. Her sex-positive music, including “One Minute Man,” “Work It,” and “Sock It 2 Me,” also gave women the permission to embrace their sexuality on their own terms and standards.

She was body positive before body positivity was a thing. In her “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” video, Missy donned a trash bag, her dark skin, and full plus-sized body while chanting “Me I’m supa fly… supa dupa fly.” Male-dictated beauty ideals were not in her vocabulary. Need more proof Missy was ahead of her time? Check the Gmail logo she donned in fake outer space in 1997 in the “Sock It To Me” video before Google was ever thought of.

Besides the themes of female empowerment in her own music, Missy is responsible for writing some of the best female anthems of our time — Total’s “Where My Girls At,” Tweet’s “Call Me,” “Let it Go” by Keyshia Cole, and Danity Kane’s “Bad Girl” to name a few.

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Missy’s induction is another notch in her feminist icon belt. Songwriters are eligible to be nominated for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame after writing hit songs for at least 20 years. Of the 88 people inducted into the hall of fame in the past decade, only 6 were women. Further explaining the inductions for 2019, Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman Nile Rodgers said:

“The first thing you need to know is it’s about the song, the second thing you need to know is it’s about the song, the third thing you need to know is it’s about the song. That’s true now more than ever but it has always been about the song so I’m very proud that in my first year as Chairman of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame that we are recognizing some of the culturally most important songwriters of all time. The 2019 slate of inductees represents diversity and unity across genres and gender, highlighting our dedicated mission to honor music creators who have enriched our lives. These are writers who in their time literally transformed music and helped make what’s happening today possible.”

The rapper took to Twitter to congratulate the other songwriters in her induction class.

Congratulations to you, Missy. This induction has been 20 years in the making, and well deserved.

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