33 1/3 Part 19


Missy Elliot -‘Miss E…So Addictive.’ (WEA,2001)

2001 was something of a watershed year for me, personally and musically. At the start of the year, I was doing teacher-training and trying to come to terms with the fact that nu-metal was there to stay; Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Korn. I was starting to despair of Stereophonics and Travis who seemed to be what ‘indie’ had come to pass for. And the less said about the relationship I was in the better. The fallout that I experienced in the middle of that year was pretty grim.

By the end of the year, I found myself living in Edinburgh, and starting to rebuild my life. And get into some great new music. One of the records I picked up just before I headed south for Christmas at my folks’ was this, the third album by Missy Elliott. I’d been learning about the fact that there was a world beyond indie -and it wasn’t just in the NME either, but over the radio.

Missy Elliott looked cool as. She could rap as well as any man – quite a lot better, she worked with Timbaland (a man who has probably shaped the sound of this decade more than any other producer, apart from The Neptunes), and she came up with the goods when it came to the music. The production is phenomenal; few records apart from Public Enemy have ever been produced this well. The beats on this album alone would make it a classic, but then there’s the songs that once bitten, you’re forever smitten. Hell, even the opening intro is worth it, and that’s something I’ve never been able to say about many Hip-Hop albums.

And of course, then there is the matter of ‘Get UR Freak On.’ This track remains one of the best, not just of that year, but of the decade. The way it incorporated an asian influence meant hosts of others in the Hip-Hop and pop worlds started picking up on Indian sounds (and if anyone mentions Kula Shaker I will shoot them). Let’s say that there’d have been No ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears without this track. The sonic additions bedazzle and amaze.

It was a watershed year…more up and downs than a bloody rollercoaster, but the music got me through. And this was one lady I was defniitely counting on staying around.

Missy Elliott -‘Get UR Freak On.’ mp3

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