On Sunday night’s episode of The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2, Missy Elliott visited to celebrate 15-years of Get UR Freak On, share her memories of Prince, reflect on female emcees and the Superbowl.
Click here to listen to listen to Sunday night’s episode of The Strombo Show with Missy Elliott.
Missy on the 15-year anniversary of Get UR Freak On
“15 years ago. Get UR Freak On, the story that I have behind that is that my album was actually finished and I kept telling Tim that I felt like I needed one more record and he was like – You’re crazy! This album is solid. It’s hot! I was like, no I’m missing one more record. We went back and forth for so long and he was in the studio, he hit the keyboard and that sound came up and I was like – That’s it! That’s it! He was like – What you talking about? I told him to hit it again. He hit that sound and one little drum thing. It was like a skeleton of the track, then I went in and recorded my verse and he just started putting stuff the two sound that he had and when it was done, it sounded like some next level type stuff. It felt like that, but we still didn’t know because at the time, nothing sounded like it. It was kind of like you know, but you don’t know if you’ll go over people’s heads. Thank God that it registered with the people and here we are 15-years later.”
Missy on the initial response to Get UR Freak On
“Immediately. [My inner circle] was more sure than I was. I know with something different, like I said at the time – it was so different that I knew that they way that our minds thought, we got it but I didn’t know if the people around would get it and they immediately got it, right off the bat. The were like, this is the craziest thing right here, there’s nothing like it. They made me more sure of the record than I was.”
Missy on the Get UR Freak On music video
“I remember watching The Cell that JLO was in and I was watching that movie and in a weird way, I was like this creative and scary at the same time. I hit Dave and I said, there’s this one scene in the movie The Cell that made me be like – Wow, that’s crazy! It was three girls, they looked like statues or something and I was like, let’s build around that and so from there, it was like we just kept building until the day of the shoot. It might of been the day before, I think it was the day of, but whatever it was, it was last minute – we need a chandelier. It was actually on set – A CHANDELIER? They’re thinking like a regular house chandelier, I’m like – no, I need an oversized chandelier. I don’t know where they got it, but they got it and I was like, I’ll swing from it and have the dancers underneath the chandelier. We were famous for doing stuff like that at the last minute. I know my label probably gagged each time that I’d shoot a video because I would come up with something at the last minute and they were like – where are we gonna get the from? Do you know how much this cost? That video was one of those ones too that was different, fun and different… It was just a part of me. I don’t think that I went in thinking that I’d taken hip-hop in a different direction. I think that the way my music was, it allowed me to go there visually because the music was just so different. It was a part of me that allowed me to be able to do that. I got one of them crazy minds. I never went in saying, we’re going to change the way the way hip-hop videos were. We just did it.”
Missy on Mike D from Beastie Boys saying Supa Dupa Fly saved hip-hop
“No. I didn’t know that. This is my first time hearing it. I’m like – wow. Yeah, that’s the Beastie Boys! I never heard that though. I’m in awe because I’m grateful, I’m thankful because I didn’t know. Like I said, we was just doing videos and music and we did what we felt. It wasn’t about trying to change anything or we gonna be on the top, it was just doing music and what we loved.”
Missy on female hip-hop emcees
“It’s always hard for females in hip-hop. That’s always been. I think that always goes back with Salt N Pepa, I’d seen an interview with them where they were saying that they had crossed over and the people thought that they had soldout. That’s what they used to call it back then. Then a lot of those artists before me, great friends of mine, it’s the same story. Females has always been hard. I think each time it opens up more for each generation. I think, not even I think, I know that they most definitely opened a door for those after them and so I most definitely won’t take the credit for that because I know those artists opened up doors for me and then I probably opened up doors for somebody else and then somebody else will open the doors for somebody else and it continues. For females in general, it’s just hard. It’s dissonant, for sure.”
Missy on the Superbowl Halftime show
“Well, I mean if you were to ask me years before or told me that you’d be doing the Superbowl, I would’ve laughed. It was never a thought. The day before, I had so many anxiety attacks and I’ve performed across the world infront of so many, the biggest audiences ever and for some reason, this was the scariest time of having to perform. What I’d say, it was amazing. I’m humbled and thankful that I got a chance to experience that moment. Like I said, everybody that had performed for the Superbowl, they had that scary moment because that’s a big place, so many people watching at one time. At first, I wasn’t nervous because nobody knew that I was performing but once they found out, I was like – oh my god because the expectations were higher, people were going to be like – what’s she gonna do? and all of that stuff. I’m thankful that Katy asked me to come out there and I just went out there. It was scary because going to rehearsal and when I first walked in, I was like wow, Katy has this huge, oversized lion and she’s gonna fly away on a star. What am I going to do? I’m just looking at me and my dancers like, it’s just us, but I thank God because this better be good.”
Missy on Prince
“Oh man. The first word that comes to mind is genius. I mean, anybody that is a Prince fan is in shock. It seems like it just happened out of nowhere and it is heartbreaking. We’ve lost Michael. We’ve lost Whitney. We’ve lost David Bowie. We’re losing so many greats and so it is heartbreaking, but I hope this generation will go and look up his stuff and see the genius that this man is and was and will be forever…. [First time that I met him] was at a club, he had performed and he was in L.A. We went to an after-event and it was funny because I had to talk to him on the phone before because I had a thing in working, where I had a Prince look-alike and he had sent me some stuff, music of his and I moved and I could never find that music and yesterday I was sitting there saying, I have to go to my house, in my storage space and find this music. Someone who was short, but personality was so big. When he entered the room, he was like a giant… I mean, I think everybody just pulled up and started looking to records and records and records and when you go, you always knew this was a genius, but when you really go and listen — you appreciate. And we really have to start appreciating these artists while they are still here and not just wait until these moments to recognize the genius and the greatness of what they’ve done for music.”
The Strombo Show is celebrating 10 years on the radio dial in 2015, hosted by award-winning personality George Stroumboulopoulos on CBC Radio 2, Sunday nights 8-11 PM.