Missy Elliott has long been heralded as one of music’s greatest visionaries. Her body of work revolutionized music and cemented her status as one of the industry’s most influential artists of all time.
On the latest episode of her Level Up podcast on Apple Music, Ciara revealed how one hip-hop mogul played a central role in the earlier days of Elliott’s career. As Ciara recalls, Diddy was partly the reason why Elliott was featured on Gina Thompson’s “The Things You Do.”
“This was a really special moment because, if I'm not mistaken, this was like Missy's first rap verse as an artist,” Ciara said. “To my understanding, I think Puff had to convince her to hop on this record because she was kind of working from the angle as a writer and producer and all that good stuff.”
“The Things You Do” was released in 1996 and was one of Elliott’s earliest appearances on a song. Elliott would go on to make her solo introduction with her critically-acclaimed debut, Supa Dupa Fly, in 1997. The record was nominated for two Grammy Awards, and the rest is history.
The groundbreaking lyricist and producer finally got the recognition she long deserved when she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and recognized with the long-overdue Vanguard Award at the VMAs in 2019, the first female rapper to earn either distinction.
“It's incredible to see Missy's whole journey and to know stories like that, where things start from and how you have your own unique way of starting out things in life,” Ciara added. “And I always say, it's not about how you start, it's how you finish. And her start was an incredible start and she just kept on leveling up along the way.”
(Photo from left: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images, Noam Galai/Getty Images, and Manny Carabel/Getty Images)