At this point, it’s almost cliché to point out the obvious — Missy’s always been ahead of her time. A songwriter, producer, rapper, singer, and artistic visionary, her talent has cemented her as a singular artist whose avant-garde creativity has inspired musicians across genres for decades.
Her musical partnership with longtime friend and fellow Virginia native, producer Timbaland transformed the sound of R&B and rap in the mid-late 90s through their work with artists like Aaliyah and Ginuwine, and when her debut rap album Supa Dupa Fly dropped in 1997, lead by the out-of-the-box, catchy single “The Rain,” it further solidified their standing as two the most important talents in music.
Over the years, Missy’s creative approach to music and her accompanying videos has been virtually unmatched. Her videos, mostly created in collaboration with Hype Williams and later Dave Meyers, are loud, dynamic, and otherworldly, studied and dissected by artists looking to emulate her sound and viewers wondering how she does it. She set the standard for experimental, innovative music videos, no matter what the genre.
Beyond her visual creativity, her work behind the scenes has been just as significant. Few producers and songwriters can make universal pop hits while still maintaining a level of authenticity the way Missy does. Throughout the decades she’s crafted hits for Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Tweet, Monica, Beyoncé, Jazmine Sullivan, Fantasia, and Keyshia Cole, among others, all while keeping her feet firmly grounded in Hip-Hop.
We’ve sifted through Missy’s discography to pick out 25 of her dopest songs.