Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot

Who is Missy Elliot?

 Melissa (Missy) Elliot is a renowned American rapper and song writer. According to Lane (2011), Missy Elliot joined the Sista R&B girls’ group in the mid-1990s where he began her music career. Elliot has significant influence in the hip-hop field which has been perceived to be a male-dominated. This foresaw her being the first female rapper whose music videos were greatly accepted by the society. For instance, Elliot has been a five-time Grammy award winner following the sale of over 30 million records around the United States. It was supposed by the series of hits and music that was welcomed by the high number of fans. Moreover, Eliot has broken various records such as having six albums that have been certified by the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA) . As a result, Elliot remains one of the biggest black female rap stars in the middle America. This paper scrutinizes on the Elliot’s contribution to hip hop and the way her influence has affected hip hop through music and dance.

Influence on Music...

Elliot was an iconic female rapper making a significant mark in the male dominated hip hop field. According to Thompson (2018), hip hop began in the post-industrial New York where it was perceived to be for the minority youth group in the society. In this case, it was common amongst the males in the black American society, where they used the genre as a form of communication. In most case, hip hop culture was perceived to be male dominated as they were aggressive in expressing the struggles experienced by the black community. In hip hop videos the women were sexualized by being used as props in music videos. Therefore, Elliot played a significant mark in the hip-hop culture by revolutionizing the norm of the male dominating where he made tremendous progress through winning awards. For instance, she won five Grammy awards: “Hip-hop heavy weight, First Lady of Hip Hop, Queen of the Beats, Puff Mommy, Missy “Misdemeanor” . Notably, Miss Elliot was a significant contribution to hip hop industry by showing that the female could also do better in male-dominated industry. Thus, Elliot influenced the females to participate in the hip hop industry which has contributed immensely to the rise of various female rappers such as Nicki Minaj, cardi B, Iggy Izela among others.

Beyond The Music ( Award- Winning Visuals)

 Missy Elliot was creative in her music videos which contributed immensely to the growth of hip hop through her works. It is worth noting that music videos play an integral role in boosting the exponentiality, visibility and the sale of their works. As a result, it impacts significantly to attracting most of the people to a particular genre of music. According to Nmaam (2019), Elliot treated her music videos, which she had learned from the king of pop, Michael Jackson. It was a significant contribution to the hip hop industry since it influenced artists to concentrate more on their music videos which caught the attention of the audience. In three decades, the creativity in Elliot’s music videos have foreseen her become dominating force in the hip hop industry. With most of her music videos being inspired by Michael Jackson, Elliot inspired most of the female artists following the creativity since they were based on the convoluted choreography, more sophisticated and based on storylines. This foresaw Elliot receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award during the 36th annual MTV Music Awards . Therefore, Elliot had significant contribution to the hip hop industry through the influence of creativity to cerate music videos based on storyline.

Influence on Gender Equality & Feminism

Elliot’s music embodied different themes such as gender equality and feminism which impacted uplifting the women sexuality. It is worth noting that hip hop music was used by the black American artists to convey message based on some of the issue that affect them in the society. Elliot used to pass the message of women sexuality through her music which created path for those who followed in her footpath. For instance, in one of her interviews she said, “I am a champion for my brown, dark women, … I want them to be seen. Because we are beautiful. If we knew how special we are, we would be unstoppable” . Through the utterances, Elliot used to influence the women to realize their position in the society, which she did through her music that could empower the female gender.

Influence on Hip-hop music and Dance

Missy Elliot’s music was influential which foresaw the artist revolutionizing the hip hop through the innovative dance moves. It is worth noting that before the appearance of Missy Elliot, dancing has been associated with hip hop. Dancing aided in the celebration of the hip hop music, where the masculinity expressed their power in the dance game with the women pushed off the dance floor. For instance, the head spinning and floor gliding were dance moves perceived to be done by the males. However, the Elliot has contributed immensely to the deterioration of such ideologies where she influenced the hip hop dance through alternative femininity. Therefore, the influence of Elliot revolutionized the hip hop dance since her approach on the dance moves opened ways for a generation of young girls and women on the dance floor



Elliot was an influential dance choreographer based on her songs such as “Throw it back.” The artists creative dance moves influenced the rise of different female dance leaders such as Ciara. Elliot influence revolutionized the hip hop industry to impact on the rise of female rappers. In this case, the audience could listen music from both genders based on their taste and preference. According to Kasule (2019), Elliot’s cultural shift of the hip hop dance impacted significantly in changing the gender norms leading to the new representation of femininity in a genre of music that was perceived to be male-dominated. Therefore, Elliot aided in the revolutionizing of the hip hop dance by ensuring that there was the incorporation of females in dances and music, becoming an iconic figure amongst the upcoming female rappers. With the hip hop music and dance being male-dominated, Elliot influenced more women to join the genre and feel free to express themselves through music which could impact significantly in breaking the societal gender norms

'My style can't be duplicated or recycled, this chick is a sick individual' ('We Run This', 2006)
Missy Elliot
(Missy’s style proved you didn’t have to be practically naked, or a size 0, to succeed in the music industry.)
'Love my guts, so f*** a tummy tuck' ('Pump It Up', 2003)
Missy Elliot
Missy’s been celebrating body-positivity before it became a buzzword 

Bold Lyrical Content...

During the start of hip hop, most artists used to write their songs based on the issue that were affecting them in the society. However, Elliot has been celebrated following her lyrical content where she expressed different themes, making her musical journey unstoppable. The artist’s lyrics portrayed an individual who used to think out-of-the-box and dealing with risk-taking concepts. As a result, her works caught the attention of most of the audience which impacted significantly on the revolutionization of the hip hop music. It contributed to Elliot being inducted into the songwriter hall of fame following his success as a songwriter-producer and solo superstar[ CITATION Kas19 \l 1033 ]. Thus, Elliot influential changed the hip hop music since the artists could write their music based on a variety of themes.

'Where you go, remember me, I'm the best thing in history' ('All In My Grill, 1999)
Missy Elliot
Confidence is key!
'I know you heard about a lot of great MCs, but they ain't got nothing on me' ('1, 2, Step', 2004)
Missy Elliot

New Sense of STYLE

Elliot revolutionized the hip hop music industry through the creation of a new sense of fashion. According to Guo (2015), music has been intertwined with fashion since the outfit that the artists used expressed their tone, emotions and mood in music. Elliot was influential to the female rappers based on her dress code where she would rock in a track suit to promote feminism based on the body and sex positivity. The dress code was an affinity for the street and the hip hop style of the females. As a result, it revolutionized the hip hop music based on the mood and tone. Moreover, the track suits could enable the artists engage in different dance styles. Elliot used her fashion sense to communicate her ideas in songs, creating a good connection with the audience. This has affected the hip hop music where artists use their fashion sense to develop different tones and moods in songs. Thus, the hip hop artists are able to connect with their audience in conveying different messages

Prioritizing Black Culture

Elliot prioritized the black culture in music. In most of Elliot’s music, she has developed various scenes in the black, urban neighborhoods such as Portsmouth to show the background of hip hopTherefore, Elliot’s iconology impacts significantly in prioritizing the black identity and art by showing the humble beginnings of the minority in the society. With Elliot being an iconic female hip hop artist, she has become influential, revolutionizing the hip hop music and dance based on portraying the blacks’ neighborhoods. It is worth noting that the blacks’ neighborhoods have bene associated with crime, drugs and violence, but Elliot aimed at promoting the black culture in her music since it forms the root of hip hop. 

As a result, Eliot centered most of her works on black neighborhoods, influencing most of the upcoming artists to shoot their music and dance moves in these areas which supports the proliferation of the black culture in hip hop. Elliot remains one of the most celebrated black female rappers who used their music to support the black culture in overcoming some of the struggles that they faced in the society such as racism. Through dance and music, the rapper portrayed the black neighborhoods can bear positive vibe and not necessary crime and drugs. This has revolutionized the hip hop music and dance in breaking down barriers between the minority and the majority groups. It has changed the hip hop music since the blacks can collaborate with the white hip hop artists to release tracks that do no dwell on the negativity of the black neighborhoods but promote positivity


Conclusory, hip hop was perceived to be male dominated. However, artists such as Missy Elliot revolutionized the gender norms and embarked on the production of hip hop music breaking the societal traditions. Elliot has been an iconic female rapper whose music videos have been accepted significantly in the society. The artist has broken various records such as the RIAA, becoming one of the celebrated black female rappers. The artists have made significant contribution to the hip hop industry in various ways. This includes being influential to the female gender, creativity vision in music videos and the uplift of the women sexuality. However, the influence of Elliot has affected the hip hop music and dance. This has contributed to the revolutionization of the dance moves, influencing the rise of female rappers and the prioritization of the black culture in hip hop music. Following these changes in the hip hop music, Missy Elliot remains a significant icon in the hip hop industry and an influential figure to the female rappers.

What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.