FLASHBACK: Missy Elliott Explains Her Unique Sound in 2002

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Missy Elliott is back in the spotlight after a universal consensus that she completely stole the showwith her epic Super Bowl XLIX halftime performance – but the rapper has been in the game for decades now.

ET was with Elliott back in 2002 while she was promoting her fourth album, Under Construction, an album Missy hoped would speak to a younger generation.

“What's different about this album is it's old school, it's like how music used to be,” Missy told ET at the time. “It's going to educate the younger kids who might not know how far back hip hop goes -- because for the younger generation, they kind of think hip hop starts at Jay Z, Nas, Missy Elliott, whoever -- but it goes farther back than that. “

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Elliott wanted to make the songs her own, and with that purpose she stayed away from radio and television to avoid accidentally following the trends.

“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,” said Elliott. “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.”

Under Construction was a major success, bringing us hits like “Gossip Folks” and “Work It.” But the album was also emotional for Elliott, who was coping with the tragic loss of her friends Aaliyah, and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

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“My favorite song on the album is ‘Can You Hear Me’ which was a tribute to Aaliyah and Lisa,” said Elliott. “I made sure I put that record last so you dance through the whole album, and then you get to this last record and it's the reality check of how short life is and it's just amazing.”

Check out this video to see Missy back in 2002!

Follow Ashley on Twitter: @AshCrossan