It’s been a celebratory week for multi-platinum rapper Missy Elliott. Her birthday was the first of the month. She performed a reportedly stellar performance at Essence Fest and Sunday was the tenth anniversary of her hit album The Cookbook.
The artist/producer is responsible for the visual elements of music escalating throughout the late ’90s. Missy’s catalogue of music videos features some of the best ever done.
Take a look at a ranking of all of Missy Elliott’s solo music videos. Let us know your rankings in the comments.
18. “We Run This” (2006)
Missy’s “Apache”-sampling song was plucked from album filler obscurity and turned into the lead single for the soundtrack of gymnastic flick Stick It. For anybody else, featuring Olympic gold medalist Dominique Dawes as your tumbling coach would be dope. However, for Missy, the leader in music video innovation, we’d seen all of this before. We had our fill of Virginia’s native daughter superimposing her head onto the bodies of dancers and gymnasts. But everybody has an off day, right?
17. “Hit Em Wit Da Hee” (1998)
Part House on Haunted Hill and part Michael Jackson-esque dance, “Hit Em Wit Da Hee” was a little all over the place. And that’s saying a lot for an artist who crams as many visuals into a clip as Missy. But the medieval theme with the Cab Calloway steez (was that Timbaland looking like Maleficent?) was way over the top.
16. “I’m Really Hot” (2004)
Due to the massive success of Under Construction, it’s follow up This Is Not A Test! was released too quickly for Elliott’s liking. The video had all of the makings to be a great one, but the execution wasn’t right. Take Missy Elliott and add dance battling, krumping and Asian culture influences and subtract special effects and you get a relatively bland Missy Elliott dance video.
15. “Ching A Ling” (2008)
When Missy first stepped foot into the music game, labels were handing out million dollar music video budgets the way Oprah used to give away cars. By 2008, the record industry was on the decline and budgets became a fraction of what they used to be. “Ching A Ling” finds the rapper/producer trying to do an Oprah scale production with a Rolanda Watts budget. Good effort.
14. “Teary Eyed” (2005)
According to some of her songs, men haven’t always treated Missy Elliott the way she deserves. In this exampled one man pushed the hip-hop titan over the edge and we find Missy being hauled off to jail and then a psyche ward. Apparently, dude cheated and instead of trying to fight her double-dealing boo, she crashes and flips the car with him in it.
13. “Pass That Dutch” (2003)
Had Timbaland and Magoo not already jacked the title, the album this song is lifted from should’ve been called Under Construction 2, since it was a rehashing of its predecessor. The “Pass That Dutch” video from This Is Not a Test was a microwaved version of “Work It.” It boasted child dancers, old school pop culture references galore and another tribute to Aaliyah and the heroes of 9/11. This was good, but there’s nothing like the real thing.
12. “Hot Boyz (Remix)” (1999)
When Hype Williams and Missy get together, you can expect some spaced out aesthetics. They did a total 180 and kept it simple with a few Michael Bay seized explosions. The best part about the video was the fashion. Eve in that fur crop top throwing up the Ruff Ryders symbol, Lil Mo going off on the ad-libs in that beauty supply store wig and Nas getting his chipped tooth gangsta on rocking Starburst yellow. Oh, what a wild and crazy time the ’90s were.
11. “All In My Grill” (1999)
Missy called men all the way out on “All In My Grill.” Elliott recruited Nicole Wray to tell the fellas that promising the world is great, but at some point you’re going to have to show those receipts. Outkast’s Big Boi contributed a verse flipping the entire song back on the ladies and the visual matches the back-and-forth of the track. It has Missy fussing with her man in standstill traffic. Once she reads him for filth, she hops out of his luxury vehicle and starts playing musical cars with different guys stuck in the traffic jam.