June 1999: Missy Elliott Welcomes You to 'Da Real World'

Submitted by notoriousclassics on Tue, 06/15/2021 - 17:46
'Da Real World'

If Missy Elliott had her way, her second album Da Real World would have been named after its in-your-face lead single, "She's a Bitch."

After the catchy, almost comedic tone of debut album Supa Dupa Fly in 1997, Elliott and longtime producer Timbaland went for a slightly more serious, almost aggressive sound on their follow-up. But Missy wasn't trying to dis anyone in that song. “The way I’m using it is positive,” she told SPIN at the time. “A bitch is a strong female who knows what she wants.”

"I named my album Da Real World because I talk about real, real, real topics—smoking and drinking and teens having sex," she also told the magazine. "But I’m not saying, ‘Suzy, who’s 13, go hump Bobby.'” In fact, Missy shared some of the album's rawest moments with a long list of guest stars. A who's who of hip-hop appears on the album, including Eminem, Big Boi of OutKast, Redman, the late singer Aaliyah, and even - in one of her first appearances outside of Destiny's Child - Beyoncé Knowles.

While "She's a Bitch" and follow-up "All N My Grill" (a favorite of Missy's) didn't set the charts on fire, a remix of third single "Hot Boyz," with added verses from Nas, Eve and Q-Tip, became her biggest hit yet, reaching No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 - and setting her up for even more success with her next album, 2001's Miss E... So Addictive.