There's no shortage of female pop stars these days, but few of them get to have the sort of big, dumb fun in that role that their male counterparts do. That is clearly not the case, however, with Missy Elliot, an ace rapper, writer and producer discovered eight years ago by Devante Swing of Jodeci. Missy Elliot has since worked with some of the biggest names in hip- hop, and crashed this week into the "Billboard" chart at number three with her first solo album, "Supa Dupa Fly."
MISSY ELLIOT: The radio is stuck right now, everything sounds the same. As far as video wise, everything looks the same. So we feel like we coming in, and we gonna change the whole thing.
MTV: With the help of producer Timbaland, Missy Elliot has transformed herself from a highly prolific songwriter, and guest rapper of choice, into one of the most interesting vehicles of a new sound.
MISSY ELLIOT The melodies are odd, and we kind of make it alternative at the same time. So it's got
like a futuristic feel, and an alternative feel to it.
MTV: The Hype Williams-directed clip for "The Rain" garnered three Video Music Award nominations, and Missy spared no indignity to insure a quality product.
MISSY ELLIOT: I had an air pump at the bottom of my ankle. They had to take me to the gas station and pump me up. I was too big to fit in the car, so I had to walk down the street with that on and the glasses. So, imagine if you was out somewhere and you see somebody walking around the street, you'd probably think they were bananas or something.
MTV: By her estimate, Missy gets 15 calls a day to work with new and established artists, and while her immediate future includes projects with Total and Brandy, she's most excited about a just-completed song with Mariah Carey.
MISSY ELLIOT: I still kind of trip out about it now 'cause you know, some people are that large, where you almost could think, "I could never get to work with them." But for her
to fly down to Virginia just to see us was just crazy! And we just kicked it! We laughed, and just had a real nice time.
Elliot's collaboration with Mariah Carey, a song called "Babydoll," is scheduled to appear on Carey's next album, due out in September.