Missy Elliott becomes first female rapper inducted into Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

BY Preta Peace Namasaba November 9, 2023 8:19 PM EDT
Missy Elliott at 2023 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Photo credit: DEREK BLANKS

Missy Elliott has made history by becoming the first woman rapper to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The Grammy Award winner joins an illustrious club of hip-hop artists such as Eminem, Public Enemy, and Jay-Z.

The induction ceremony included a video montage celebrating Elliot’s musical career. It featured artists such as Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B. Her friend of 20 years, Queen Latifah gave the introductory speech. She praised Elliot’s character and position as a trailblazer for women in the rap industry.

Nothing sounded the same after Missy came on the scene. All the kick snares and everything changed — the bass lines changed, the pockets changed, the cadence, the writing. And that’s because Missy has always been a futurist, someone who is always looking ahead. She is avant-garde without even trying.

Queen Latifah in RollingStone

Elliott arrived on the stage in a grand display. She performed a medley of hits spanning decades. The choreography epitomised her musical and visual influence on pop culture throughout the years. Present in the audience was Elliot’s mother who was seeing her perform for the first time in her entire career.

She then gave an acceptance speech where she began by thanking God for triumphs. Elliott expressed gratitude to all the people who supported her through her journey in the entertainment industry. She paid tribute to the pioneers who paved the way for her career and the awe at being celebrated among the stars who inspired her.

Sometimes I be like, do people really realize, like through music, what music do with people? That’s the one thing I think we can all say that comes together is music. You know, we all love music in some form, and all of those people who have already been up on the stage. I was just listening to other people’s stories and being like, wow, they’ve been around all of these years and just getting inducted who I feel been worthy to be up here. And that’s why I’m still in shock because they have so many years on me.

Missy Elliott in Pitchfork

Elliot’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame follows her receipt of the Global Impact Award at the Grammy’s earlier in the year. She also got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2021. Her hometown of Portsmouth, Virginia renamed a street Missy Elliott Boulevard in honor of the star.

Her induction into the Hall of Fame coincides with the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. The induction ceremony was streamed for the first time ever this year. Elliott was inducted alongside other artists such as Kate Bush, Willie Nelson, Rage Against the Machine, Sheryl Crow, and George Michael, among others.