Missy Elliott is probably one of the most prolific artists in the business today.. She's written songs for everyone ranging from SWV to Ginuwine to Lil Kim etc..She's definitely the bomb and represents a new breed of female hip hop artists.
Davey D:. Let me ask you the first question. Who exactly are you and where did you come from?
Missy Elliott: Who exactly am I and where did I come from?
Davey D: Now when we say Missy Elliott, I mean I'm asking you basically how did you get started, cause for a lot of people, know you after hearing the Supa Dupa Fly. I think they are just really starting to know you after seeing the video, but obviously you been around for awhile so just trying to give it a context.
Missy Elliott: Well I started when Devante' from Jodeci found me when I was in a group called 'Sista'. And um, then I started like writing songs for a lot of different people. But like when people really started seeing me at was the Gina Thompson record, 'The Things you Do'. And from there that like the launch of my career. From that song that Puffy did.
Davey D: OK, have you always been a music writer? How did you just get into that?
Missy Elliott: Well considering, I been writing songs every since I was little far as I'm concerned. I use to make up songs. I use to stand on the trash can and sing out by the street or whatever, but professionally, I think I started writing songs maybe when I started working with Jodeci. Like on some stuff on their album.
Davey D: Which songs were you working with them on?
Missy Elliott: Sweaty, Want Some More and Won't Waste Your Time.
Davey D: OK Now, people know you from the video. What was the concept behind that? Who came up with the storyboard ideas, the whole nine for that?
Missy Elliott: Me and Hype came up with the idea together. He came up with the Blow-up Suit and I came up with the Jeep and the sittin on the hill and we just collaborated together and made it into what it is. Like its kind of an alternative video. Of course, he made like all the puppet moves and all of that stuff so.
Davey D: OK. You being a female in todays time, I mean you definitely taking a different approach then two of Hip Hop's biggest Divas, Lil Kim and Foxy Brown. What direction do you see women within the Hip Hop, Urban scene going now, where do you see them headed?
Missy Elliott: Um. I don't know. I can't predict that too much, but I can say that um, women in the Hip Hop field is gettin more respect now. Were able to say what the guys use to say or what they say now cause at first we couldn't do that, but now its like were more open and we are more respected now in the business then we were like 10-12 years ago when people like Latifah and Monie was out you know. So I think we starting to get a lot more respect. As females now and being able to just voice our opinion on how we feel about certain subjects.
Davey D: OK. Um. Where do you um, who would you like to collaborate with, I mean with all the your credits after looking at that list, one could say that your the female version of Babyface or Babyface is a male version of you. You know. Who would you like to collaborate with and have you enjoyed collaborating with?
Missy Elliott: Well I enjoyed collaborating with all the artist that I worked with. I think all the artist that I worked with is real talented and we finished the songs real quickly, cause they like talented like that. The only person that I love to collaborate with that's not out like as an artist is Timberland, and he's a producer. He's the producer for all the songs that I've done, but I don't want to say which artist cause all of the artist was fun working with.
Davey D: You gotta give me one.
Missy Elliott: Um, Aaliyah.
Davey D: Aaliyah.
Missy Elliott: Yeah.
Davey D: Do you ever see yourself collaborating with maybe some of the Hip Hop artists especially out on the West Coast. Like an Ice-Cube, Snoop Dogg, Too Short are anybody like that? E-40.
Missy Elliott: Um. Snoop called the radio station while I was in LA on 92.3. He called and wants to do some stuff with me so of course I'm down with that. I'm down for gettin some West Coast love. You know. And it just good that we will be able to work together, cause I'm sick of the East Coast West. I'm not from the East anyway or from the West.
Davey D: Where you from?
Missy Elliott: The South.
Davey D: What part?
Missy Elliott: Portsman, Virginia
Davey D: OK.
Missy Elliott: So, you know I'm down for spreading it everywhere. I think its enough for everybody. And so I plan on working with Snoop and Daz and Corrupt.
Davey D: How about someone from the Bay Area? Too Short, Hammer, E-40 any of those, Richie Rich, any of those guys?
Missy Elliott: I'm down. Like I said, I'm down for spreading it over here too. So if they call me, I don't think its too hard to be done.
Davey D: OK. When your writing a song and I mean a lot of your songs are so diverse, How do you get into a frame of mind to write it? Do you look at the artist and kind of figure out who they are, or do you have the concepts in your head and you just try to adapt them, or do you seek out artists to just put some of your ideas who you think that can best express your idea?
Missy Elliott: Um, no. I don't never look at the artist. I don't never say well if I do a song for TLC it has to be a Waterfalls type song, I just uh..
Davey D: Do you write that?
Missy Elliott: Naw, I didn't. I wish I had. Now, when I go in the studio, I just write what the track make me feel. And if the track make me feel like its a sexy song, I'll write about a sexy song, or if the track make me feel like a giving me a feeling like a guy would be cheating on me, then that's the kind of feel. I don't try to make songs fit for the artist, because like the Total song that we just did, to me that don't sound like Total like it would be on a Total record. But it puts them on that next level, so if I had a just been thinking, Total then I might would have did a 'Can't you See” type record. You know. And I think they wanted to go somewhere else. They wanted to be on that next level. So I never take it and try to fit something for that artist.
Davey D: Do you have any groups that are coming out of your camp? Anybody that you're gonna pull out the back pocket?
Missy Elliott: Um. Yeah. I got my own label, which I am on my own label called 'Goldmine'. And uh, I have a 16 year old by the name of Nicole Ray that I am about to put out under my label.
Davey D: OK, cool. And also what would you say to people trying to make it into the business right now?
Missy Elliott: Uh. Just keep striving. I didn't go to college, cause I knew this is what I wanted. And for some people they might look all that as being real negative, but if you want sooomething, you gon keep going after it and you not gon give up, no matter how long it takes. I didn't just pop up on the scene yesterday, I been here awahile and it's just cause I wanted it that bad and I kept my Faith in GOD and believed that He was gon be with me all the way and He still here with and He still giving me Blessings, so you know that's what I would tell ya. And take care of your business first.
Davey D: Finally. With Hip Hop nowadays seems to be going in a direction where people are moving away from 'gangsta” type of material. Um. DO you see yourself putting out that type of music at all and do you see yourself getting political. You know doing something that would be more on the lines of like a Public Enemy, with singing or rapping in the back or something like that?
Missy Elliott: I can't tell right now. I mean not right now. I just like to make fun music. You know and I to stay away from 'gangsta” type rhyming because you look at TV and see all the negative things on TV all day long, and I think music should be a scapegoat from all that and people when they see John Doe died on TV or John Doe got killed they don't want to turn on their radio and hear about you shooting up, you running up in somebody house or you shipping this here, they want something that's gon make them happy. On my album that's what I tried to do. I tried to take it back to the old school where it was just about battling you know, just about whether you had skills or not. Not on what you wearing this or you wearing that.
Davey D: OK. You do both singing and rapping?
Missy Elliott: Hmmm. Hmmm.
Davey D: OK. So which do you prefer?
Missy Elliott: Um. I prefer writing over both of them (laughs), but if I had to choose, I would say rhyming.
Davey D: Rhyming.
Missy Elliott: Hmmm. Hmmm.
Davey D: Ok. Well cool. I think I got just about most of all the stuff I wanted.
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