This weekend, Missy Elliott was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, making her the first woman rapper to achieve this accolade. She was introduced by fellow Hip-Hop icon Queen Latifah, who spoke to Elliott’s talent, as well as her unprecedented musicianship.
“Trust me, nothing sounded the same after Missy Elliott came on the scene,” Latifah said. “Nothing. All the kick snares, everything changed. The bass lines changed, the pockets changed, the cadence, the writing. And that’s because Missy has always been a futurist, someone who’s always looking ahead.”
Following several words of admiration from Latifah, a video montage was aired at the ceremony, featuring acts such as Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B. Elliott then gave a career-spanning performance that included hits like “Get Ur Freak On,” “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” “Work It,” “Pass That Dutch,” and “Lose Control,” which was accented by the Portsmouth native walking through the crowd while reciting her lyrics.
During her own acceptance speech, Elliott expressed gratitude for the people that helped her along her journey in entertainment, in addition to paying homage to the artists that have preceded the Grammy Award-winning musician.
“I didn’t wanna call out any names, but I have to say Pepa who is here from Salt and Pepa? Her and Queen Latifah, Lyte, Roxane Shante, so many. Monie, all those ones before me gave me their shoulders to stand on,” Elliott said. “So I just wanna take the time. My people say, “Hey, go up there, and you know, people wanna hear from you, how you feel.” But these are the people who inspired me. And if it wasn’t for them and their music, I probably wouldn’t be standing here.”
Missy also spoke to the importance and impact of Hip-Hop and its 50th anniversary. “You just feel like it’s so far to reach when you’re in the hip hop world and to be standing here, it means so much to me,” she said to the attentive audience.
Although she is the first female rapper to be indicted, Elliott is one of the few hip-hop artists who have been placed into this prestigious club, among them are Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, Eminem, Public Enemy, and Jay-Z. Earlier this year, DJ Kool Herc was also honored with the Musical Influence Award for his contributions to hip-hop culture.
For the first time, the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame ceremony streamed live this year. Viewers can also catch a two-hour prime-time special of the event January 1 on ABC, or stream it on January 2 on Hulu and Disney+.