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For me some of the best music from the RnB and Hip Hop music genre came out during the 90's. I remember hearing music from the like of R.Kelly, Jodeci and of course the introduction of the female rapper and Hip Hop artist Missy Elliot, and her producer collaborator Timbaland. It was also the time that Missy and Timbaland introduced the likes of Aaliyah and Ginuwine to our ears, using their vocals over their musical genius sounds and lyrical inviting tracks. I was, and still aml a huge fan of Aaliyahs, and it still saddens me that she is no longer around to make music and be the all round entertainer that she could have been. Being an aaliyah fan, it was hard not to like and be instantly grabbed by Missy and Timbaland, as it was hard to hear a track from Aaliyah without the lyrical and production influence of Missy Elliot and Timbaland. It was my early liking of Aaliyah that made me buy Missy's first ever Album 'Supa Dupa Fly' and I can say after listening to the album I have no regrets at all doing so.
During the time it was released (1997) Missy Elliot's Album was seen as a ground breaking debut album, and was hugely influential to the genre of music throughout the late 90's and early 2000 era. It was a daring release of experimental and futuristic sounds that was way beyond its years, but it was this daring aspect of this album that made it such a huge success for Missy Elliot and began her and Timbalands triumph breakthrough as being the most sort out artists, producers and lyrical writers in the music business.
For me, it was the unique collaboration between Missy Elliot and Timbaland that made this album such a hit, with the groovy, slow downed drum and bass beats and mastering of rhythmic musical tones made for an album that was different, and made for a fresh and welcoming introduction to the music scene.
Missy in this album showcases her truly versatile talent; being a rapper, singer, song writer and producer and is able to excels in each area so well on this album.
The album itself starts off with a bang, with noticeable collaboration with rapper Busta Rhymes in the "Busta's Intro" that instantly grabbed my attention.
From then on Missy Elliot makes the album her own, with songs like 'Sock it to me' illustrating her great vocal ability and clever often amusing raps over a groovy beat.
Best Friends is a track the feature the late Aaliyah, and is about friends standing by each other no matter what. It was a track that really showed the closeness between the two, and how comfortable both are at experimenting different vocal arrangements; which for me makes for another great track.
Friendly Skies is another one of my favourites from the album and feature singer Ginuwine. It shows off the soulful essence that Missy so effortlessly processes, being not the most vocally talented singer, she is still able to make songs catchy and vocally inviting.
I found majority of the tracks to be woman-empowering and was reminiscent of the times that spice girls were making their mark with the whole girl power movement.
My favourite track from the whole album has to be 'Rain'. It is such a groundbreaking track, with influential sounds and catchy vocals. The music video made for this track is ground breaking in itself. I remember seeing missy in a huge inflatable suit, dancing in the rain while she sings the vocals of the track. The Timbaland contribution to this track really makes this song stand out from the rest; it makes you want to sing along to the catchy lyrics while at the same time bop your head to the infectious beat.
1. Busta's Intro
2. Hit 'Em Wit da Hee - Da Brat
3. Sock It 2 Me - Da Brat
4. Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
5. Beep Me 911 - 702
6. They Don't Wanna F** Wit Me
7. Pass da Blunt
8. Bite Our Style (Interlude)
9. Friendly Skies
10. Best Friends - Aaliyah
11. Don't Be Commin' (In My Face)
12. Izzy Izzy Ahh
13. Why You Hurt Me
14. I'm Talkin'
16. Busta's Outro - Busta Rhymes
17. Missy's Finale
Overall a great debut album from Missy Elliot, it was something fresh and new to the music scene, and even today I find it still sets its self apart from tracks out today; making this album timeless and a great RnB/ Hip Hop album.
In summer 1997 came the debut album for the Virginia rapper Missy Elliott. On it, we find that she's backed heavily by Timbaland (who gives her beats for just about every track, if she's not doing it herself), and his affiliates with Ginuwine, Aaliyah and Busta Rhymes included. She comes to attack female rapping from an alternative standpoint (other than what the likes of Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown were heard to bring at the time with their sexually-explicit music) and so also attracts the attention of Da Brat, who guest raps with her.
1. "Busta's Intro"
2. "Hit Em Wit Da Hee"
After a little something from Busta Rhymes, we see that here the things really gets underway as we have Timbo throwing down some of the funkiest beats and setting it off nicely to make Missy feel comfortable as see both raps and sings. She gets assistance from Brooklyn's Lil' Kim who lends a helping hand and shows how well the female Rap game could be if all the most prominent acts team up.
3. "Sock It 2 Me"
Moving things on here, we find that we get one of the big singles from the album and one that you're much more likely to remember (if you were down with Hip Hop during this period between the mid and late nineties). I believe that it's the type of track that you really need to grow with and isn't directly impressive, but needs some time to get a grip of and as a result I didn't think it was one of the best.
4. "The Rain"
Her debut solo single, here we see that she goes all-out with her alternative material as she shows just how little interest she has in pursuing the sort of direction that other female rappers had taken prior to her with lots of rhymes which really don't have any point or purpose, but somehow manage to have her making a straight hit out of the material by the end. It samples Ann Peebles' "I Can't Stand The Rain", which acts as the main drive to the chorus.
5. "Beep Me 911"
The final in a string of her singles placed consecutively on the album, here we get one that has Timbo ripping his freaky percussion all over the thing and making for a very exciting piece that is bound to grab your attention from the time in which it gets underway. There's a lot to like about this one (especially if you were really liking what Timbo did with Ginuwine's and Aaliyah's albums in 1996.
6. "They Don't Wanna F**k Wit Me"
This is one of the biggest tracks on the album and one that really stands out as we see just how well Missy's and Timbo's chemistry is to the point where their beats and even rhymes just bounce off each other perfectly as they seem to have such similar ideas. I really can't see how you can faults in this one as it flows so well and it is of the sort of standard that would have made it a perfect candidate for a single.
7. "Pass Da Blunt"
The grooves in this one are just too much as we see that Timbo decides to do a little sampling on this one. As he doesn't usually do this, he ensures that its only done to ensure that it's able to build on things that he wouldn't be able to do without this throwback Funk material. Here we have Missy trying out a remake of Musical Youth's "Pass The Dutchie" and she does a great job of it all.
8. "Bite Our Style" (Lude)
9. "Friendly Skies"
Here we get things changed a little as we find that here we get a very spacey track and one that has things shift to have Timbo experiment with some futuristic material. It gives her the chance to show more of what her vocals are able to achieve by singing instead of rapping, and she does it whilst recruiting Ginuwine and a sample off his "Pony" track from the year prior to this to make it what it is - a very sensual recording.
10. "Best Friends"
For this one we see that Aaliyah comes to show some support on the singing side and ensure that we aren't bothered too much by the fact that Missy does a little more singing than usual (which isn't really of the best standard). By letting her hand it over, she ensures that here we get another quality piece and one that you really won't be able to complain all that much about as we get another smooth piece.
11. "Don't Be Comin'"
This is another incredibly impressive one from Missy and one that shows just as much out of her as it does her producer. This time around she does things alone (where the vocals are concerned) and she comes with some warming melodies to keep you happy and ensure that it does all that it should. She goes in hard and shows that she's a real force in the game now that she's got to this point in her career.
12. "Izzy Izzy Ahh"
Here we see just how she stands out with her music as she goes on with her nonsensical lyrics (as we've heard elsewhere on the album. It seems to make for something that has her showing that she doesn't fit in with the rest and that she's able to get away with a lot, whilst still being able to put forward her ideas effectively. I thought that it was a nice inclusion on the album, but could be overlooked.
13. "Why You Hurt Me"
Here we see her turning things around a little to show that she's able to channel her music in more conventional ways. Here we find that she comes out with a track that has her rapping (and singing) about having a friend who did nothing but sleep around. She does a good job at it and shows just how well she's able to turn the subject matter around, but I thought that it was a little too plain for me.
14. "I'm Talkin'"
A raw track, we see that here her delivery is grungy and demands your attention as she draws-out some of the syllables for effect. Here she records one that has her just boasting about how strong her skills are where rapping is concerned. It makes for a nice piece and as Timbaland is doing just as good as ever on the beats end of things, it means that it makes for a straight killer jam here that you need to look out for.
The final proper track on the album, here we see that Timbaland decides that beatboxing is essential to pull the best out of the thing, and this is exactly how it came across as it made for one of the most hardcore tracks that you could ever expect out of her. There's a lot going on here and somehow Timbo and Missy are able to control the massive amount of energy that they pack into the recording.
16. "Busta's Outro"
This is a big album from Missy and one that really deserves as much attention as the ones that she recorded as she gained more fame and crossed over towards the mainstream and into the Pop world. Every step along the way is exciting and offers something different. Although the odd tune is nothing more than average, the majority of them are of a high standard and you can't do without them.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Busta's Intro
2 Hit 'em Wit Da He
3 Sock It 2 Me
4 Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
5 Beep Me 911
6 They Don't Wanna Fuck Wit Me
7 Pass Da Blunt
8 Bite Our Style
9 Friendly Skies
10 Best Friends
11 Don't Be Comin' (In My Face)
12 Izzy Izzy Ahh
13 Why You Hurt Me
14 I'm Talkin' (The Biz)
16 Busta's Outro
17 Missy's Finale