Her Pen Is Like Wo: Missy Elliott Shares Process Behind The Hit Songs She Wrote/Produced
In case you didn’t know, March is Women’s History Month. (Don’t worry, we’ll be sharing the stories of a few pioneers later this month.) But when it comes to music, especially in the modern age, you’d be hard pressed to point to a woman more accomplished than Missy Elliott. In addition to rapping, singing and producing her own songs, she has been instrumental in creating hits for other female artists. We’ve listed her catalog here before. But in the past few days, Elliott has shared details about the process of creating the songs that soundtracked our lives. Check out some of the songs she shared below and on the following pages.
#Funfact #tbt🙌🏾 I remember when I wrote this record it came from me hearing @monicabrown on the phone blacking about something so I listened👂🏾& was like 🤔 this some tea☕️😂I’m bout to turn this into a song a HOOD ANTHEM for the ladies & at that time I knew Monica was fitting for the part😂🤣😂👊🏾she would be the one to pull this off the only one to say I might have to fight cuz my mouth to slick or KICK DOWN YA DOORS & smack ya chick🤦🏾♀️🤷🏾♀️😂 welp never the less we thought the song was hot but never knew it would still be a top anthem years later🙌🏾 hey #TIMELESS #Sogone #CLASSIC #AfterTheStorm #2003
Monica, “So Gone”
#Tbt 1 more Classic for today because a lot of people may not be familiar with so many artist I have written or produced for since the early 90’s well this is another gem @tasiasword #FreeYourself when I produced this with my boys Nissan & Craig I hadn’t met Fantasia yet but I watched her on idol & decided to write something everyone could relate to & the music I wanted to be live & have b sections I then had Jazmine Sullivan come sing on it with me & when I played the demo 4 Tasia she said ohhhhhh😱PLAY IT AGAIN she then said hook up the mic & BAAAAABY WHEN SHE SANG THAT VERSE IT WAS OVER! Fantasia Anointed on the vocals She took it to a WHOLE NOTHER LEVEL🔥🙌🏾🔥THIS JOINT STILL SLAPS🖐🏾#CLASSIC #TIMELESS #FREEYaself
Fantasia, “Free Yourself”
Here another one for yall! I remember when @jazzepha hit me & said I got this new artist @Ciara & she on fire right now I’m gonna send you some tracks to write to I said cool so I looked up her 1st video (Goodies) & said oh this joint 🔥& she be dancing🔥🔥 & so I figured let me write her something that’s a rap/sing style of flow that will allow her to sing & buss her freestyle moves to so I recorded it then sent it back to jazze I was SCARED they wouldn’t like it 😬because it wasn’t really singy but he hit me like yo this it! & it’s going to be her 2nd single & this video was the 1st time we met & CIARA KILLED THIS JOINT! The dancers was Getting it 2! THIS IS A CLASSIC joint TIL this day it still SLAP🖐🏾#1twoStep I thank Cc & Jaz for allowing me the opportunity🙏🏾
Ciara, “1, 2 Step”
Another joint I had fun writing & producing this song for @myaplanet9 “My Love is Like Whoa” with my boys Charles & Kenneth Bereal & I remember actually coming up with this song after about 10 shots of patron🍷😳😬😩😂 yup I was a lil toasted when I came up with this one and I remember thinking I wanted to give @mya something classy with a lil bit of Rachetness🙌🏾 I remember playing it for her in the studio and us dancing around crazy having a ball! I thought she would never say MY ASs IS LIKE WHOA😬 lol but she did & I also had @tweet_ to come in & demo some harmonies for me but this another joint still SLAPS 14 years later🙌🏾💯🔥🔥🔥#MyLoveIsLikeWhoa #2003 & MYA DID HER THANG IN THIS VIDEO her solo tap choreography CRAZY!
Mya, “My Love Is Like…Wo”
Let me take y’all back some of y’all was babies but I wrote & produced this Ladies Anthem #WhereMyGirlsAt for the group #702 with my boys Ericseats & Rapture & I remember I originally wrote this song for the group TLC but that didn’t happen so I said hey I know #702 got that SASSINESS & FIERCE ATTITUDE & when I wrote it I thought about how many MAIN CHICKS was going to sing the words loud to whoever that SIDE CHICK messing wit her dude! was I said oh this gonna be that jump off!🤣😂 Knuck if u Buck fight kind of R&B music👊🏾and so we dropped this & 702 bought the FIYAH & it became a CLASSIC!🔥🔥🔥🙌🏾 still a BOP @itsmeelah @mishathegemini @irish_702
702, “Where My Girls At?
This joint right here I produced with my boy @dareallamb I remember thinking musically what would a young artist like @jsullivanmusic need for her 1st single debut being that her voice was very mature for her age i said it’s best to give her something that she can write & be soulful so me & my boy lamb did this joint🔥I was scared that she wouldn’t like it even though we did but it wasn’t a young vibe for her age so I was like she bout to be like hell nah I need a club joint🤣😂but we played it & her & her mom loved it & she prolly wrote it in a hr🙌🏾 Jaz has always been one of the most vocally ahead of her time for her age I started working with her around 13 & she has always SANG HER ASS OFF! She’s one of the best & her pen game crazy too! Oh & I got @darealpepa from the group Salt & Pepa to talk at the beginning because she Jamaican!🙌🏾 oh & Jazmine sung this on a broken mic with black tape on it😂🤣🤣
Jazmine Sullivan, “I Need You Bad”
(CLASSIC) I wrote this song for the LEGENDARY group Total called “Tripping” & I remember when @timbaland & I & my boy Darryl did this @diddy was a lil reluctant to drop this as their 1st single because it was so different especially coming off big hits like Can’t you see with Biggie & No one else but I remember wanting to write a flow that’s like rap/Sing and this group was the Most Saucy and swagged out group I cried when puffy finally said I’m going to drop this as their 1st single😩🙌🏾I was thankful that it Blew up because It was so futuristic I was like please let this work or puff gonna cancel my ass😂🤣🙌🏾 I thank him & Total for trusting me when I said this that FLAME🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 ayyye it still SLAPS🤚🏾 TIMELESS #Tripping #Total #KimaKieshaPam #BADBOY
This track me & my boy @dareallamb produced for @keyshiacole I remember meeting her at the studio & I played her some joints & she immediately picked this one so I got my boy Peter to come add some bass to it too. & my cuz Corte on bkg 🙌🏾a fun fact🤦🏾♀️🤣 the 1st line of my rap was originally “Ill take Yo man” but Keyshia heard it & was like OH NAH YOU GOTTA CHANGE THAT LINE🤣😂😩🤣 I feel some type of way🤣 so I changed it to “I Don’t want yo Man”🙌🏾I remember after Keyshia wrote her parts it sounded like a Ladies Anthem so I hit up @lilkimthequeenbee & said I got this track me & my boy Lamb did for Keyshia & I would love u to jump on it so I got it to her she heard it & was down & laid her part & WALAAA there u have it A CLASSIC TIMELESS BANGA TIL this day🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Keyshia Cole, “Let It Go”
This song Aaliyah “If Your Girl Only knew” was the 1st song me & @timbaland ever recorded on Aaliyah I remember being so nervous because she was coming off a huge 1st album & me & Tim was new on the scene so our sound was really different & it took people a second to get it because our sound was unique but not Aaliyah she got it!🙌🏾mind you me & Tim was only supposed to record 1 song on her but Babygirl came to the studio & we played her the demo & she loved it and that 1 record turned into us recording 8 songs on her & she took our music to a whole nother level because she was FUTURISTiC like us I could only imagine what her sound would be like in 2018🙌🏾 This is CLASSIC/TIMELESS🔥🔥🔥#Babygirl #Aaliyah #IfYourGirlOnlyKnew #OneInAMillion🙏🏾 You are missed🙏🏾
Aaliyah, “If Your Girl Only Knew”
Here’s another CLASSIC from @officialswv called “Can We” that I wrote & my bro @timbaland on the beat🙌🏾 now I remember being SUPA GEEKED to work with SWV because they had them BOPS🔥 now I originally wrote this with TLC in mind but they were going in different direction so When we got the call for SWV We played It for them & THEY MERKED THIS🙌🏾 I knew this was gonna blow when the night Biggie passed he came over to me in the club in LA & said Ma did you & Tim do this for SWV I said yes😬 NERVOUS AS HELL & he then said oh dat shit hot I like that👌🏾 I was sweating 😅because his opinion mattered to me🙏🏾 so here we are 2018 & this joint #CanWeGetKinkyTonight still SLAP🖐🏾🔥🔥ahead of its time…@cokoclemons @therealleleeswv @tajgeorge