When we think back fondly over Beyoncé’s illustrious record-breaking career, there are many moments that come to mind. But her rapping isn’t necessarily one, even though she’s been showing off her flow for a minute since she was a part of Destiny’s Child.
Many have treated her recent progression from rap-adjacent R&B star to full-blown dropping her own bars as a natural progression of her relationship with Jay-Z (who gave his wife's bars a shoutout) and shift with the music industry.
But one hip-hop icon took some time to highlight the fact that Bey has been rapping for longer than we thought. Missy Elliott recently spoke with UK news The Guardian, where she divulged some of the more serendipitous moments of her career, from her critically acclaimed return to stage at the 2019 VMAs to her earlier days as one quarter of the now-defunct R&B girl group Fayze.
The Virginian legend recalled meeting Beyoncé when she was just 16 years old. Despite her young age, Missy remembered being impressed by the Houston icon from the jump when they crossed paths in the studio.
“It wasn’t that Beyoncé came in and was loud or ‘Look at me, I’m gonna be the star,’” Elliott told the publication. “She was very sweet. But when she went in the booth, that’s when I knew.”
The two would cross paths five years later when Missy turned to a pre-Dangerously in Love Bey to enlist her vocals for the MC's “Nothing Out There for Me.” The 48-year-old recalled throwing Bey for a loop in the studio when she surprised the then-burgeoning R&B songstress with a request she was not expecting.
She coaxed Beyoncé, who would have been 21 at the time, into laying down a few bars for her on the 2002 track. Bey was unsure of herself, but Missy promised she got her back musically.
“I said: ‘Hey, I want you to rap a little bit,’” the “Work It” hitmaker recollected. “And she was like: ‘Miss, if I sound crazy, don’t put this out!’ And I said: 'Trust me, B, I’m not gonna allow you to sound crazy.' She went in there and now she’s rapping better than me!”
We been knew Beyoncé had the range, but there you have it, from the lips of one of the greatest to ever do it.
(Photo L-R: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images and Mike Coppola/Getty Images)