5 Must-Hear Songs by Missy Elliott to Prep for Her First North American Headlining Tour

On Monday (April 8), Missy Elliott announced her first-ever North American headlining tour, scheduled to begin July 4 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Elliott will be joined by Ciara, Busta Rhymes, and Timbaland for 24 dates, ending August 22 in Rosemont, Ill.

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While fans speculate on possible set lists for her Out of This World — The Missy Elliott Experience Tour, here’s a look at five highlights from the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“Gossip Folks” featuring Ludacris, from Under Construction (2002)

Ludacris joins Elliott on this Timbaland-produced answer to rumors about Elliott’s sexual orientation and weight. Her single reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and topped Billboard’s Dance Club Songs. In the music video, Elliott walks through a school hallway while students spread rumors. Meanwhile, Run-D.M.C.’s Darryl McDaniels drives a school bus, and the video ends with a mural dedicated to Aaliyah, TLC’s Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Jam Master Jay, each of whom died within two years of Under Construction.

I know ya’ll poor, ya’ll broke
Ya’ll job just hanging up clothes
Step to me, get burnt like toast
Muthaf—s, adios, amigos
Hop, hop, pose, pose
I don’t brag I mostly boast
From the VA to the L.A. coast
Izzo kizzay, lezzy goh

“Bomb Intro / Pass That Dutch,” from This Is Not a Test! (2003)

Elliott and Timbaland (Tim Mosley) experienced a commercial breakthrough together on Aaliyah’s second album, One in a Million (1996). “Pass That Dutch” shows their vivid production and writing chops, but it also showcases Elliott’s staccato and grammar-bending rapping, fiery wit, and nonchalant swagger.

Misdemeanor on the floor, pretty boy, here I come
Pumps and a bump make you wanna hurt somethin’
I can take your man. I don’t have to sex ’em
Hang him out the window, call me Michael Jackson

“Lose Control” featuring Ciara and Fatman Scoop, from The Cookbook (2005)

In “Lose Control,” Ciara sings a sweet R&B hook over Elliott’s dark electro-synth track while Fatman Scoop hollers in the background. The song reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and The Cookbook received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album. “Lose Control” is about how music makes you feel, and Ciara’s voice adds calm to the chaotic, angular production while Scoop loses his mind. However, Elliott is prolific at turning experimental elements into hits, and “Lose Control” is where she challenged and changed the limitations of pop music.

I’ve got a cute face chubby waist
Thick legs in shape
Rump shakin’ both ways
Make you do a double-take
Planet rocker show-stopper
Flow proper head knocker
Beat scholar tail dropper
Do my thang muthaf—r

“Get Ur Freak On,” from Miss E… So Addictive (2001)

If you think “Get Ur Freak On” should top this list, you’re not wrong. Flip a coin because both Misdemeanor bangers are two of the decade’s top tracks. Furthermore, Elliott pushed boundaries more than most in an already daring genre, and “Get Ur Freak On” is the perfect combination of fearlessness and earworm-catchy pop. “Get Ur Freak On” has frequently landed on critics’ best-of-2000s lists. Using bhangra instrumentation, Elliott turned Punjabi folk music into a global hit.

Missy be puttin’ it down
I’m the hottest ’round
I told y’all, mother—
Y’all can’t stop me now
Listen to me now
I’m lasting twenty rounds
And if you want me
Then come on, get me now

“Work It,” from Under Construction (2002)

Blending Run-D.M.C.’s “Peter Piper” and Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three’s “Request Line,” Elliott’s defining song takes old-school hip-hop and pushes it into the future. “Work It” may contain Elliott’s most famous lyric that won’t be described here but can be understood by the elephant sample in the song. Elliott also created an iconic hook with a reversed line: I put my thang down, flip it, and reverse it. “Work It” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won Video of the Year at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. It was well-deserved as Elliott made innovative videos for nearly a decade, even while MTV transitioned from music videos to reality television.

See my hips and my tips, don’t ya?
See my ass and my lips, don’t ya?
Lost a few pounds in my waist for ya
This the kinda beat that go ra-ta-ta
Sex me so good I say, blah-blah-blah
Work it! I need a glass of water
Boy, oh boy, it’s good to know ya
Is it worth it? Let me work it
I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it
Ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gnaht ym tup I
Ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gnaht ym tup I

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