Missy Elliott has secured her place in the annals of music history. Over the weekend, she was inducted into the esteemed Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, marking her as the first female rapper to achieve this extraordinary honor. Queen Latifah, a fellow icon of hip-hop, had the honor of introducing Missy Elliott and commending her unparalleled talent and groundbreaking musicality.
“Trust me, nothing sounded the same after Missy Elliott came on the scene,” Queen Latifah proclaimed. “Nothing. All the kick snares, 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’s always looking ahead.”
The induction ceremony featured a video montage with appearances by notable artists like Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B. Missy Elliott then delivered a career-spanning performance that included her iconic hits such as “Get Ur Freak On,” “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” “Work It,” “Pass That Dutch,” and “Lose Control.” The performance took an interactive twist as Missy walked through the audience, engaging fans while delivering her legendary lyrics.
During her acceptance speech, Missy Elliott expressed her profound gratitude to those who supported her throughout her journey in the entertainment industry. She also paid tribute to the artists who paved the way for her career.
“I didn’t wanna call out any names, but I have to say Pepa who is here from Salt and Pepa? Her and Queen Latifah, Lyte, Roxane Shante, so many. Monie, all those ones before me gave me their shoulders to stand on,” Elliott said. “So I just wanna take the time. My people say, ‘Hey, go up there, and you know, people wanna hear from you, how you feel.’ But these are the people who inspired me. And if it wasn’t for them and their music, I probably wouldn’t be standing here.”
Missy Elliott also acknowledged the significance and influence of hip-hop, especially as it marks its 50th anniversary. “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,” she emotionally conveyed to the audience.
While Missy Elliott is the first female rapper to receive this distinguished honour, she joins a select group of hip-hop artists in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which includes legendary names like Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, Eminem, Public Enemy, and Jay-Z. This year, DJ Kool Herc was also celebrated with the Musical Influence Award for his significant contributions to hip-hop culture.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony was streamed live for the first time this year, ensuring that fans around the world could be a part of this historic moment. For those who missed it, a two-hour prime-time special will air on ABC on January 1, 2024, with streaming available on Hulu and Disney+ starting on January 2, 2024.