Missy Elliott's 17 Most Important Contributions to Society

by John Boone 4:49 PM PST, February 03, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Don’t call it a comeback, Missy’s been here for years. Seriously, don’t call Missy Elliott’s flaw-free Super Bowl performance a comeback. The five-time Grammy winning First Lady of Hip-Hop, Hip-Hop Heavyweight, Puff Mommy, Queen of the Beats, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott has made some of the most important contributions to society in recent years.

Relive them all now, or educate yourself for the first time. You’re welcome.

1. This is her first hit, “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” and it changed the game.

2. We saw Missy wearing a trash bag in the video so we wore trash bags.

3. And that trash bag also inspired one of the funniest bits on Broad City.

4. Then there was “Get Ur Freak On,” which played at every middle school dance from 2001 until 2006. Who knows how many tweens grinded for the first time to this classic?

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5. The hits kept coming: Without “Work It,” we would never know how to put our things down, flip them, and reverse them. A true education.

6. And it gave rise to that little dancing girl from the Missy videos.

(Here’s what she looks like now, BTW. She was in a Step Up movie!)

7. Then “Gossip Folks,” because eff the haters.

8. And “Lose Control,” an anthem for anyone with a cute face, chubby waste, and thick legs in shape. Shout out Fat Man Scoop (Man Scoop, Man Scoop).

9. “Lose Control” gave us the iconic “Lose Control” dance. Get it, CiCi.

10. Which, between “One, Two Step” and “Lose Control” and “Work,” Missy Elliott basically is the reason that Ciara is relevant and anyone cares about her music. No offense to Ciara.

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11. Ciara isn’t the only one #blessed to have worked with Missy. Her Twitter bio even says, “I have written or produced for All Ya Favorite Singers!” It’s true: Aaliyah, Beyoncé, Busta Rhymes, Ginuwine, Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Nas, *NSYNC, Timbaland, TLC, Whitney Houston. Remember that Mya song “My Love Is Like...Wo”? Missy is the reason we have “My Love Is Like...Wo”!

12. Misdemeanor is always in the right place at exactly the right time to make history. Like when she emceed “Lady Marmalade” with Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Pink, and Mya:

13. And when she was onstage with Britney Spears and Madonna at the VMAs when they kissed! Bet you didn’t remember she was there! Xtina was there too, in case you forgot that as well.

Look! There she is!

14. She was also in a Gap ad with Madonna.

Photo: GAP

Weird, right?

15. And provided the Plastics’ with their strutting anthem in Mean Girls. “Pass That Dutch.” Missy, like, invented the Plastics, you know what we mean?

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16. Missy penned the most important lyrics of all time, a message to all the men out there and cosigned by women everywhere:

17. And saved Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance from being merely great and instead made it ICONIC. How generous of you, St. Missy of Hip Hopdom.

WELCOME TO THE #YEAROFMISSY. Get your trash bag ready.

Here’s a #TBT: Missy Elliott explains her unique sound to ET in 2002: