Missy Elliott Stuns on Cover of 'Elle,' Talks 'Never Fitting In' and Reflects on That Iconic Plastic Bag Suit

Mark Seliger

Missy Elliott isn't looking to please anybody but herself.

The 45-year-old rapper stuns on the cover of Elle's June issue, and inside the magazine, she opens up about why her refusal to comply with the status quo has made her the artist she is today.

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“One thing I won’t do is compromise. I will never do something based on what everybody else is telling me to do. And I have to kick myself in the a** every night," Elliott shares. "Nah. I have to make sure that it’s right. I’ve been through so many stumbling blocks to build a legacy, so I wouldn’t want to do something just to fit in. Because I never fit in."

Mark Seliger

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Elliott is definitely one to set the trends rather than follow them, though she admits that one iconic look -- her infamous plastic bag suit -- had nothing to do with fashion. 

“To me, the outfit was a way to mask my shyness behind all the chaos of the look. Although I am shy, I was never afraid to be a provocative woman," she reveals. "The outfit was a symbol of power."

Mark Seliger

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"I loved the idea of feeling like a hip-hop Michelin woman. I knew I could have on a blow-up suit and still have people talking," she adds. "It was bold and different. I’ve always seen myself as an innovator and a creative unlike any other.”

During an interview with ET in 2002, Elliott opened up about her creative process, and how isolating herself from what everyone else was doing helped her create her own sound.

“Whenever I do any of my albums, I don't listen to the radio, I don't watch videos, I try to not follow a format,” she said. “It's easier for me to not listen or look at visual or sound because then I have to make up my own and create a sound and a visual for myself.”

See more in the video below.