Written by Ollie Francis
Missy Elliott has been one of the most prominent hip-hop artist and songwriter for over two decades. Her intricate and erudition based efforts in the music industry has warranted an induction during the 50th Songwriters Hall of Fame awards ceremony on Thursday (June 13).
Sharing the platform with Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri in the Hip-Hop sector, the honoree made history as becoming the first female Hip-Hop artist to be presented with an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. This does not come unexpectedly for the four-time Grammy award-winning beauty. Working tremendously to pen hits for not only herself but the likes of Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Jazmine Sullivan, the late Aaliyah, Destiny’s Child, and so forth over the years, it was evident with her persistence and immaculate artistry that she would be honored during the Songwriters Hall of Fame cermony.
Overwhelmed with an abundance of gratitude and emotion as a fellow colleague and close friend, Queen Latifah presented the award; Missy Elliott took to the stage for approximately 10-minutes to express her sentiments:
“Every time I come up to a podium, even with all the work that I’ve done, I don’t know.. and I’m assuming it’s just God. I don’t know why I am here,” a tearful Missy spoke coyly through the microphone, as the audience members rejoiced in a round of applause. She continues, “I want to say one thing to the writers, to the upcoming writers, ‘Don’t give up.’ We all go through writer’s block. Sometimes, you just have to walk away from a record and come back to it. But don’t give up because I’m standing here. And this is big for hip-hop, too.”
Prior to Missy coming to the stage, former First Lady Michelle Obama sent a pre-recording congratulating the Hip-Hop pioneer for all of her efforts including overcoming adversities and negative connotations plagued in the male-dominated industry.
“Missy has been popping into all sorts of places people didn’t expect her. Everyone told her that she wasn’t gonna make it. That she didn’t fit the right mold. That she didn’t have the right look. That she wasn’t what people expected.”
Mrs. Obama continues in her heartfelt message:
“Missy’s example shows us that your voice is about more than just the words we say. It’s about where those words come from. It’s about owning our truth and share it with the world. So, Missy, I want to thank you for all of your trailblazing ways. Thank you for not just sharing your gift with the world, but for being an advocate for so many people out there, especially for young girls who are still figuring out how to make their voices heard.”
Missy was honored by an astounding performance from Hip-Hop prodigy, Lizzo who emulated a similar ensemble of Missy’s eccentric style in the late’90s while performing her classic “Sock It 2 Me.” While paying homage to her idol, Lizzo brought out Da Brat to rap over her original guest verse.
Just last month, Missy Elliott alongside Justin Timberlake, received an Honorary Doctorates Bill during Berklee’s commencement ceremony.