Deep Album Cuts Vol. 19: Missy Elliott

Missy has always been front of mind as a candidate for this series (in fact, I mentioned her in the first installment as a perfect fit). At her peak, she was one of the most acclaimed and popular singles artists of her era, and while the albums sold well and got good reviews, it always felt like nearly all the excitement focused on her singles and videos. Plus she was tied closely to a brilliant producer, Timbaland, to the point that she maybe didn't get enough credit for being as big a part of why Missy Elliott records were great as she actually was. Given the way she uniquely straddled rap and R&B may have hurt her, too (although, of course, that hasn't stopped Drake albums from being canonized, so things have clearly changed).

And consensus isn't too strong around Missy's albums -- Supa Dupa Fly or Miss E or Under Construction may be equally likely to be somebody's favorite, but none of them has emerged as a canonized classic album the way "The Rain" or "Get Ur Freak On" or "Work It" have been canonized as great singles and videos. In a way, I get it: Missy is a victim of her own consistency. I always have trouble naming a favorite album of hers because the first 3 are so good in different ways and at any given time any of them could be my favorite. And then next 3 are also really damn good, just on a slightly lower tier the early albums.

Missy Elliott Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist):

1. I'm Talkin'
2. Smooth Chick
3. Slap! Slap! Slap! (featuring Da Brat and Jade)
4. Play That Beat
5. Dat's What I'm Talkin' About (featuring R. Kelly)
6. Can't Stop
7. Dog In Heat (featuring Method Man and Redman)
8. Slide
9. Busa Rhyme (featuring Eminem)
10. Best Friends (featuring Aaliyah)
11. Is This Our Last Time (featuring Fabolous)
12. U Can't Resist (featuring Juvenile and B.G.)
13. Scream a.k.a. Itchin'
14. Stickin' Chickens (featuring Aaliyah and Da Brat)
15. Izzy Izzy Ahh
16. Let Me Fix My Weave
17. Don't Be Coming
18. Time And Time Again

Tracks 1, 10, 15 and 17 from Supa Dupa Fly (1997)
Tracks 2, 9, 12 and 14 from Da Real World (1999)
Tracks 3, 7 and 13 from Miss E... So Addictive (2001)
Tracks 4 and 8 from Under Construction (2002)
Tracks 5, 11 and 16 from This Is Not A Test! (2003)
Tracks 6 and 18 from The Cookbook (2005)

Of course, there's a 7th Missy album that's been in the pipeline for years, and at this rate we may never see Block Party. And I kinda blame the world's lack of faith in Missy without Timbo. The Cookbook was dope, tracks like "Can't Stop" and "Is This Our Last Time" are great examples of how good she can be with other producers, and even in recent years she's appeared on great hits by J. Cole and Fantasia. But the two Tim-produced Missy singles that dropped a couple years ago landed with such a thud that it seemed clear that their chemistry is dead. I'd still love a new Missy album, though, especially an R&B-heavy one.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
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