When it was announced that Jennifer Lopez would be honored with the MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards — an awards show that I stopped watching and caring about when Chris Rock stopped hosting them — there seemed to be at least one question coming from the mouths of many people. And that question was: “Why the hell hasn’t Missy Elliott gotten this award yet?” And if you had to take a shot every single time someone asked a variation of this question on Twitter when the news first broke, you’d be dead from cirrhosis in less than an hour.
Believe it or not, this is not going to be a post of me hating on J. Lo. Yes, her musical accomplishments obviously pale in comparison to those of Missy Elliott, but talking shit about the woman who danced with the rest of the Fly Girls on In Living Color, who played the late and legendary Selena Quintanilla-Perez (“Anything for Selenas!”) in Selena, who hooked up with George Clooney and tussled with Isaiah Washington as U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco in Out Of Sight, who almost sat on the face of Ralph Fiennes in Maid For Manhattan, who went to the Grammys in 2000 and wore the absolute hell out of this dress…
…has no appeal to me whatsoever. And considering that we just had to deal with Madonna and her sorry excuse of an Aretha Franklin tribute, which left us all responding like so…
… J. Lo taking home the Video Vanguard award really is the least bothersome thing that people sat through during last night’s VMAs.
This post is all about Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott and how Kayla Marie Sutton, a.k.a. @Maria_Giesela on Twitter, who created the #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe hashtag and was the social-media manager/contributor for BlackGirlNerds.com before its reputation turned to absolute dogshit due to its involvement with the catastrofuck that was Universal FanCon, created the hashtag #MissyElliottAppreciationDay and decided to make sure that Missy received all of the love and appreciation on Twitter that she wasn’t going to be receiving from MTV. And both Kayla and everyone else on Twitter surpassed all expectations in accomplishing that task.
Give🌹to people while they are here & I would love to give some all day today to @MissyElliott herself. She inspired me as a singer, a dancer, and just as a human in general and so I made a #MissyElliottAppreciationDay playlist and hope you all enjoy https://t.co/HCVbwrUBvC pic.twitter.com/h6RFC9GpAo— 𝐾𝑎𝑦𝑙𝑎 𝑀𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑒 (@Maria_Giesela) August 20, 2018
And to all of you reading this: I deeply apologize in advance if you’re reading this article while you’re at work. Because it’s going to be rather difficult for you to stand or sit still and focus on your duties while this article does everything possible to get many a Missy Elliott song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
Let’s start with Missy’s debut album Supa Dupa Fly, and with the song and video whose lyrics and visuals were damn near impossible to ignore, and made a lot of us sit up and take notice of Missy and her talents, which she showed off while wearing a bodysuit that looked like a big black garbage bag: “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)”
Followed by “Sock It 2 Me,” which featured heavy doses of Afrofuturism long before Janelle Monáe graced us all with her presence as an ArchAndroid, and “Beep Me 911,” which I’m sure would have been used by Dennis “The Beeper King” Duffy in any advertisements for his business if he could afford it:
Her next two albums, Da Real World and Miss E…So Addictive, kept us all reciting her lyrics while busting a move on many a dance floor, with singles such as “All n My Grill” with Nicole Wray and Big Boi, “Hot Boyz” (not to be confused with the Hot Boys from Cash Money Records), “She’s A Bitch,” “Get Ur Freak On,” and “One Minute Man” in which she recruited Ludacris (LUDA!) and Trina, a.k.a. Da Baddest Bitch, to let any and all men and fuckboys know that their weaker-than-Montgomery Burns-losing-an-arm-wrestling-match-to-an-actual-ant dicks were not at all welcome and that they need to step their stroke game up.
Just wanna remind y'all that while y'all were out here claiming Missy didn't rap about sex, she was out here being loud and proud with her sexuality. #MissyElliottAppreciationDay https://t.co/OppyFuqWZ7— Court (@courtdanee2) August 20, 2018
And then came Under Construction, which brought us two of Missy’s most popular and successful singles and videos: “Work It,” which had us all trying to rap her lyrics both forwards and backwards, and “Gossip Folks,” which had us reciting the chorus (sampled from “Double Dutch Bus” by Frankie Smith) even if we had no idea what was actually being said. (Both videos also introduced us to Missy’s adorable but incredibly talented backup dancers: Monica Pareles and Alyson Stoner)
ThEM VIDS THO!!! THEM JAMS THO!!!! The visual GENIUS and a VERY gifted writer/producer/artist and damn she be dancing!!! Big love from point A. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾💯 #MissyElliottAppreciationDay— Tevin Campbell (@tevincampbelll) August 20, 2018
(It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Tevin Campbell had nothing but praise for Missy Elliott, and not just because she recently had nothing but kind words about Tevin himself when his talents and relevance were called into question on Twitter this past weekend.)
Her next album, This Is Not A Test, brought the singles “Pass That Dutch” and “I’m Really Hot.”
Missy’s sixth album, The Cookbook, brought us the single “Lose Control” featuring Ciara.
Have you ever played "Lose Control" in a room full of black people?? It's a beautiful sight to behold. Everyone all of sudden, even yo two stepping uncle is a trained dancer #MissyElliottAppreciationDay pic.twitter.com/nbhhlCHqkB— 𝐾𝑎𝑦𝑙𝑎 𝑀𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑒 (@Maria_Giesela) August 20, 2018
And though Missy has yet to bless our existence with a new album (if she pulls a Beyoncé and drops a surprise album on us, expect the entire Internet to break in half), she teamed up with Pharrell in 2015 and released “WTF (Where They From).”
Good luck to you on picking your favorite Missy Elliott songs/videos, as there are clearly too many classics to choose from.
This is hard🤔 https://t.co/4f0i54A1bf— Tevin Campbell (@tevincampbelll) August 20, 2018
(Granted, this woman here named Mary Halsey showed her particular fondness for one Missy Elliott song and got Internet fame and plenty of shout-outs as a result. Including one from Missy herself.)
And who can forget the Super Bowl Halftime Show from 2015…
…when Katy Perry performed on stage and when Missy appeared a few minutes later (start at the 7:20 mark) and shut it down while leaving audiences asking several questions:
1) Why the hell didn’t Missy have the halftime show all to herself instead of sharing it with Katy?
3) Who’s Missy Elliott? Is that someone from back in the day or is that a new artist that Katy discovered?
As it turns out, there were so many people below the age of 25 on Twitter with no familiarity with her work. They clearly liked it but were still left doing the Scooby-Doo Head Tilt when it was all over.
Missy Elliott is one of the most creative ppl in the industry. Missy Rap, dance, sing, write & she's a producer. She showed us that she's a creative genius through her video's over the last 20+ yrs. Thank you Missy for blessing us with your greatness #MissyElliottAppreciationDay pic.twitter.com/vSMjsK2mJw— Truth Only (@TruthTellerAsh) August 20, 2018
Every single one of these music videos is a reason why Missy Elliott is considered to be a legend, and why we were left shaking our damn heads at MTV’s refusal to give Missy her flowers, especially when the Video Vanguard awards is named after the late, great Michael Jackson, who also made music videos into an art form and who was largely responsible for MTV becoming the success that it is today, even though MTV practically had to be forced to show his videos in the first place because, you know, racism.
And when Missy herself wasn’t on the microphone and appearing in the videos for her own music, she was behind the scenes sharing her talents with other talented people for their own awesome music: 702 (“Steelo,” Where My Girls At”), SWV (“Can We”), Total (“Trippin’”), Monica (“So Gone” and as a bonus, the #SoGoneChallenge that Monica herself participated in), Keyshia Cole (“Let It Go”), Lil’ Kim (“Not Tonight - Ladies Night Remix,” “Lady Marmalade” with Christina Aguilera, Mya, and Pink) and of course, the late and great Aaliyah (“One In A Million,” “If Your Girl Only Knew,” “4-Page Letter,” “Are You That Somebody?”).
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her collaborations.
Beyonce? Total? SWV? Mya? Destiny Child? Aaliyah? Ginuwine? 702? Puff? MJB? Monica? Whitney Houston? Fantasia?— Guwop Inna Lagoon (@Tiph_Seven) August 20, 2018
Listen if Missy wasn't on beats, she was WRITING for the best era in hip-hop r&b!!!!#MissyElliottAppreciationDay
And “Gossip Folks” still gets me out my seat.— DoctorJonPaul 🌈 (@DoctorJonPaul) August 20, 2018
But let’s talk about the songs that weren’t singles shall we?
“Fix My Weave”?
“On & On”?
Honey, @MissyElliott deserves every last rose in the garden.
We salute you queen! pic.twitter.com/dPHrziwPLC
Everything that she has accomplished for her own career and for the careers of others, all of those things pretty much makes Missy Elliott a genius. And though it has become far too easy and predictable for that term to be applied to every loud-mouthed, “intense,” problematic owner of a dick whose ego makes the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man look like a Hobbit in comparison, as someone who has talent practically coming out of every pore in her body, someone who is liked/respected/admired throughout the music industry, and someone who is also wise enough to not embarrass herself on the regular over on Twitter and blame everyone else for her professional shortcomings when she’s not comparing herself to Harriet Tubman(?!) and also starting shit with her exes and telling the world that she bought his hairline for him (seriously, Nicki, how do you not have any Black female friends in your life to say this to you and tell you to put down your damn phone and stop embarrassing yourself?), she has earned it in every way possible.
On a personal note in addition to all of this, I want to thank @Maria_Giesela for starting #MissyElliottAppreciationDay and filling my feed with love for an artist I've admired for as long as I can remember. I'm filled with so much nostalgic joy. ❤❤— Tay Myscira | Taylor Cordingley 🏳️🌈 (@TLCordingley) August 20, 2018
And that, along with the fact that we’re once again making damn sure that the artists we love receive their flowers and know how much we love and appreciate them and their work while they’re still here with us, is why we have a Missy Elliott Appreciation Day.
I didn’t know it was #MissyElliottAppreciationDay but I want to say that I am so humbled🙏🏾 I am just like everyone else I have up & down days & seeing this truly lifted my spirits❤️ I am grateful for your kind words & support❤️ huge hugs to all of you🤗— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) August 21, 2018
Header Image Source: Getty Images