Missy Elliott On Being the First Female Rapper in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: “Words Cannot Describe”

Missy Elliott is set to become the first female rapper to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She recently sat down with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America to talk about her emotions surrounding the honor and how she’s preparing for the big event.

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“Words cannot describe,” she said when asked for her thoughts about the honor. “It just hasn’t clicked.” She shared that as a hip-hop artist, being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame “seemed so far out of reach.” The Hall of Fame is a prestigious honor for artists and one that celebrates a successful, expansive body of work. Elliott is finally eligible to be inducted, as it’s been at least 25 years since the release of her first record.

That would be Supa Dupa Fly from 1997, which featured the singles “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” “Sock It 2 Me,” “Hit Em wit da Hee,” and “Beep Me 911.” It was a testament to Elliott’s talents, but also to the talents of her friends; the album had features from Busta Rhymes, Lil Kim, Magoo, Aaliyah, Ginuwine, and Da Brat.

[RELATED: Missy Elliott Joins Remix of Viral Hit “You Wish”]

Another close friend of Elliott’s will be introducing her at the induction ceremony: Queen Latifah, who Elliott said she’s known for 20 years. “She’s somebody that, like I said, ‘come before me, open that door, left it open,'” said Elliott. “And I owe so many flowers, bouquets. It’s not enough bouquets for those women that came before me. And she’s one of those women.”

When speaking about the other inductees, Elliott admitted, “I love Chaka [Khan], and Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, to even be at a table with them is a blessing, past a blessing, there’s got a be a bigger word for that.”

“Rock and roll to me is a gumbo of different styles of music,” said Elliott when asked what rock and roll means to her. “I think we get this thing where, rock and roll, you gotta have a guitar. It’s like saying hip-hop is just rap when we have incorporated jazz, we have incorporated blues.”

Now, Elliott is not only making personal history for herself, but for female rappers everywhere, and on the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, no less. “No matter what people say,” said Elliott, “the hip-hop world is something special and unique.” When asked what advice she would give to her younger self, Elliott reiterated those adjectives, saying “I would tell her, ‘You know what? There is a bright future for you, and keep goin’. That girl knew, too,” she said, “that she had somethin’ that was different and unique.”

Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Strength Of A Woman Festival & Summit

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