If you like rap music, you might be familiar with one of its more prolific artists, Missy Elliott. Active since the mid-1990s, she’s not only a performer, but also a record producer and songwriter. She started with a group act called Sista and then eventually moved into solo performances. Throughout her career, she has produced six studio albums. Below are all six of those albums, ranked from least to most popular. There’s a YouTube link for each one so if you have the desire to listen to part (or all) of a particular album, then you have the opportunity to do so.
6. The Cookbook (2005)
Released on 4 July 2005, this particular album was recorded between November 2004 and March of 2005. Coming in at just over 63 minutes in length, it features both rap and hip-hop music as its two main genres. It is interesting to note that the album was actually produced by Elliott herself, as she even had a hand in developing the title. She has long said that she always felt like each album was a unique recipe where you put different musical ingredients together in order to create something that’s completely new, different from anything you’ve ever created before. That’s how she came up with the title for the album, and it’s also how she approaches both this and every other piece of music. The album debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard charts and was eventually certified gold, selling 657,000 copies in the US. From the album came three main singles, “We Run This,” “Teary-Eyed” and “Lose Control.” One of the singles, “Lose Control,” actually made it to the Billboard Top 100 in its own right.
5. This Is Not a Test! (2003)
Her fifth studio album was released in November 2003. Having been recorded between April and August of that same year, the album featured 16 tracks and two singles, “I’m Really Hot” and “Pass That Dutch.” The album is just over 56 minutes in length, featuring three different genres including hip-hop, R&B and dancehall. Elliott served as an executive producer along with several other individuals. The album was released on Elektra Records in conjunction with Goldmind. Overall, it received favorable reviews from critics, but it debuted at number 13 on the Billboard Top 200 charts in the US. Nevertheless, the album sold 705,000 copies in that country alone. Overall, it was released in a number of countries aside from the US, including the UK and Japan.
4. Supa Dupa Fly (1997)
This was the first studio album ever released by Elliott. It was recorded throughout 1996 and part of 1997, eventually being released in July of that year. Like many of her other albums, it was released in conjunction with Electra and Goldmind Records.The album, recorded at Master Sound Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia, features 17 tracks. Out of this album alone, no less than four of those tracks became hit singles. It’s also worth noting that Elliott served as an executive producer on the album, something that is relatively rare for someone who is also recording their first solo album. Featuring mostly hip-hop and R&B, this is an album that very much set the stage for her future success as a solo artist. It also helped her create a bigger name for herself by allowing the world to see her for who she truly is as a performer. She had a greater level of control for this album which allowed her to do things that she hadn’t been allowed to do as part of a group act. The results were largely positive, as the album enjoyed 1,221,000 sales in the US alone. Worldwide, that number increased to 2,542,468 copies.
3. Under Construction (2002)
Her fourth studio album was recorded between April and August of 2002 and released in November of that same year. The lion’s share of the album was produced by Timbaland, but there were also several other people involved, including Elliott. Featuring both hip-hop and R&B, the album comes in at just over 56 minutes in length. It debuted at number three in the United States on the Billboard Top 200. More importantly, it sold 359,000 copies in the US within the first week alone. There were a couple of other important milestones that should be noted for this particular album. First and foremost, Elliott dedicated the album to another musician, Aaliyah, who had sadly been killed in an accident in August of 2001. Furthermore, she extended that dedication to the victims of the September 11th, 2001 attacks. The album was also critically acclaimed, receiving Grammy nominations for both Best Rap Album and Album of the Year. In total, the album featured 13 tracks for those albums released in the United States. Internationally, there were two additional bonus tracks that were also included. The album also generated three singles. Those songs included “Back in the Day,” “Gossip Folks” and “Work It.” Worldwide, there were 3,377,521 copies sold.
2. Miss E…So Addictive (2001)
This was her third studio album. It was recorded from late 2000 to early 2001 and released in May of that same year. Although there wasn’t a lot of time to spare, the album features 16 main tracks with a number of hidden tracks featured as bonuses. There were also special tracks that were specific to releases in certain countries. From this album alone, five singles were spawned. As is typically the case, the album incorporates the genres of hip-hop and R&B. Overall, it’s about the same length as other albums, coming in at just over 57 minutes long. As a result, many of the songs are considerably shorter because of the higher number of tracks included. The album was certified platinum, selling 5,297,324 copies around the world.
1. Da Real World (1999)
This was her second studio album, from which three singles were released. Like most of her albums, it was released on the Electra Record label in conjunction with Goldmind. Elliott also had a hand in producing it. The album is just over one hour in length, incorporating the genres of hip-hop and R&B. It was recorded from late 1998 to early 1999, released in June of that year. All of the recording was done at Master Sound Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It didn’t take long for the album to become certified platinum. Worldwide, approximately six million albums were sold.