Music 14 January 2019 | 14:46

Missy Elliott makes history

14 January 2019 14:46

Put your thing down, flip it and reverse it – if your thing is the status quo, that is. Rounding off a weekend of women proving that their contributions to the music industry are just as important as their male counterparts’, Missy Elliott has become the first female hip-hop artist in history to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. And she’s also only the third rapper to ever be awarded the accolade, her predecessors being Jermaine Dupri and Jay-Z.

As he announced who the latest inductees will be on Saturday night, the recently-appointed chairman of the SHOF Nile Rodgers remarked that ‘the 2019 slate of inductees represents diversity and unity across genres and gender, highlighting our dedicated mission to honour music creators who have enriched our lives. These are writers who in their time literally transformed music and helped make what’s happening today possible.’ A pioneering feminist, who smashed hip-hop’s glass ceiling with her platinum-certified debut album Supa Dupa Fly (1997), with regards to Elliott, Rodgers’ words couldn’t ring any truer. Without her fearless, ground-breaking contributions to rap music, would we have Nicki Minaj and Cardi B today?

Female rappers are still few and far between, but the recognition that Missy Elliott is now receiving marks an important moment in the industry. Although the genre is still dominated by males, the fact that she has become one of only three rappers who have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame shows that women have just as much to offer behind the mic as men. That’s how you truly ‘Work It’.