Missy Elliott is the first female rapper to be nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and she says many were surprised to learn she’s written for numerous stars, including Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Destiny’s Child and Aaliyah.
“A lot of people just thought I was an artist,” the five-time Grammy winner tells Billboard. They’re like, ‘I had no clue.’
Missy hopes that her nomination will lead to other female writers and producers being recognized.
“I hope it opens the door so people will be able to see that they [female songwriters and producers] do exist out there,” she says. I was talking to Queen Latifah the other day, saying it’s so crazy how people don’t know that there was a Patrice Rushen, who did a lot of her own stuff; an Angela Winbush … so many before me that people aren’t aware of.”
“If I [win], I’ll have the biggest party. And if I don’t, I’ll still have a big party because I’m just grateful, and it sparks the conversation for someone that comes after me,” Elliott adds “There hasn’t been a female MC inducted, and we have to look at that.”
The 47-year-old songwriter/artist/producer hasn’t released an album since The Cookbook in 2005. One reason, she says, is because she’s such a perfectionist, it’s hard for her to release new music.
“I play stuff for my friends when they come over,” Missy says. “Fifty people can tell me, ‘Hey, this is hot.’ But if I don’t feel it then nobody else will ever hear it except for those 50 people at my house,” Missy says. “If I get goosebumps, then I feel like the world will feel that way when they hear it.”
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