We would be here a long time if we discussed all of Missy Elliott's hits. As someone who laid the groundwork for being original, she has gotten her well-deserved flowers. In fact, she still continues to get her flowers to this day. Her hometown of Portsmouth, Virginia named a street after her in 2022. And like several legends, she's still active musically. These days, she's mostly doing features but they are just as important as solo songs. Her name is respected in the music world and it's great to see her connect to the current generation. Across the years, she's had multiple hits and iconic music videos to go with them. Many of these songs are timeless for many people and will continue to be played throughout the years. We've compiled and ranked ten of them.
#10 Where They From Missy Elliott feat. Pharrell
This song is the most recently released one in this list but it's still very important. It's one of Missy Elliott's hits that younger people may know. While it is common knowledge at this point, both Missy and Pharrell are from the same part of Virginia. Timbaland, a producer they have both worked with across the years, is also from that area. This song is a showcase of Missy and Pharrell's chemistry and uniqueness. From the very beginning of the song fans knew Pharrell was behind the production due to the 4 count start. He also has a verse on it that matches Missy's bouncy animated flow on it. There's a beat breakdown for Missy's second verse that still keeps the energy going and her flow is still super animated. This one was big in the dance world for sure and you probably heard it in a commercial or two.
#9 Let It Go - Keyshia Cole feat. Missy Elliott and Lil Kim
This song is special for several reasons. For one, it has all three of these women on a track together. Each of them were doing excellent in their own lanes of music and came together to showcase their skills. The song itself was produced by Missy and Lamb and they did something super special with it. The song uses the same sample as "Juicy" by Notorious B.I.G who was in a relationship with Lil Kim. Missy's post hook has a brief nod to him and Lil Kim ends her verse with his signature "baby baby" catchphrase. The beat also switches for Lil Kim while still maintaining the R&B tone of the rest of the song. For many people, this song is a mood booster.
#8 Gossip Folks Missy Elliott feat. Ludacris
Ludacris was another popular rap name in the early 2000s. For many, him and Missy were similar in terms of their flows and delivery on songs. They both had animated styles and used humor in their ad-libs and punchlines. The beginning of Missy's first verse is a testament to the former. She elongates the last word of almost every bar and does the same throughout he rather verses. Meanwhile, Ludacris comes in with a fast flow that still has several stand out moments. In it he talks about his past which contrasts Missy talking about her present well. Both of them address those with negative opinions about them and respond uniquely and confidently. Also, this was one Missy and Timbaland produced together.
#7 One, Two Step - Ciara feat. Missy Elliott
This one of the songs on here that isn't produced by Timberland and/or Missy. On this one Missy is the feature and drops in after Ciara's singing. For many, this song is a nostalgic classic. Some hold it in such high regard because of the collaboration between the two women. Others because it's produced by Jazze Pha who had a very large presence in music at the time. There are multiple synthesizer melodies on the song which were common at the time. One thing distinct about this song is there's a bridge before Missy's verse. During this, a brand new melody comes in as Ciara sings. The original beat comes back in for Missy's brief but effective verse.
#6 Bounce - Timbaland feat. Justin Timberlake, Dr. Dre and Missy Elliott
With so many tracks with Timbo and Missy on here, it's only right there's one where she's the feature. Timbaland was an established producer at this point and had worked with multiple big names. This song was on his debut project and naturally there are many big names of the time on it. This track specifically has several legends on it and Missy's verse might be the best one. The verses all have a suggestive theme running through them and Missy was not new to that. Amongst the men, she stated what she has and she could do just as confidently as they did. Timbaland's futuristic production created the perfect atmosphere for this. Missy's verse interestingly enough does not mention him this time around even though she has done it several times on other songs.
#5 The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) - Missy Elliott
While Missy is known for her high energy dance tracks, this one slows things down a little. It's not exactly a ballad but goes for a cool and calm atmosphere. And naturally, you can still dance to it. Missy sounds just as confident as she always does on it. This one is special because it's the first solo track on her debut album. Because of this, we see her skill displayed well and yet she still has more in store. This music video has her most iconic look: The patent leather blow up suit. It's been called a "trash bag" multiple times but Missy herself cleared that up years ago. The last minute or so of the song is absent from Missy's presence. It's almost as if she wanted the focus to be on Timbaland's production completely.
#4 Bomb Intro/Pass That Dutch - Missy Elliott
This song's opening moments set it up well. Missy Elliot is on production and takes a dance based approach to the beat. The claps that go throughout it set the tone to clap and dance a long easily. The bass also becomes a core part of the song as it almost is a melody in itself. Missy's imagery in her verses keep the club scene going as she encourages people to dance along with the song. Along with those moments she also has some fun and creative punchlines that line up well with the song's atmosphere. Sometimes albums start out with an instrumental or spoken word. This was the first song on the album it's on and it sets the tone right out the gate with very high energy.
#3 Lose Control - Missy Elliott feat. Ciara and Fatman Scoop
This is one of Missy Elliott's hits with an iconic intro. When people heard it, they knew what time it was and got up fast. Missy Elliot produced this one herself and showed she was talented in that department too. The song's warping melody is the perfect pair for Missy's confident flow. Fatman Scoop serves as a hype man throughout the song and does a great job at it. He encourages people to dance and get into the song. Ciara brings a more subdued voice to the group and the production adapts for it. She even has a couple of bars before going into her singing. The trio proved they could make a high energy song and show off their skills well with everyone shining in their own way.
#2 Get Your Freak On - Missy Elliott
This song is mandatory in a list of Missy Elliott's hits. Timbaland is on production and Missy has production credits too. The song's melody is the part most people remember about it. Missy's energy is strong throughout the track. The hook is fun and easy to remember and fits in really well with the production around it. Missy uses a start-and-stop flow that includes pauses in the production too. These moments are capitalized on by fun and humorous ad libs. Missy uses these techniques to talk about her dominance in the rap game which all were aware of at the time. This was another one that was big for dancing and the music video proved that. There were also several cameos in the video including Timbaland himself, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Eve and more.
#1 Work It - Missy Elliott
This is easily the biggest of Missy Elliott's hits. The intro is instantly recognizable for many people. Timbaland's signature drums come in right before Missy begins her verse. As with many of her songs, she introduces herself before it. The song's siren-like melody is one of the most memorable aspects of it. Missy's verses are also full of creative flows and her making her own sound effects within them too. This was a testament to her unique creativity that put her at the level she reached. However, the most iconic aspect of this song is the hook where Missy talks about reversing - then says the hook itself in reverse. For many at the time this may have been confusing to hear. But, upon looking at the lyrics it's easy to see that's exactly what she did.
Which of Missy's hits do you love most? Let us know in the comments section.