The 33 Best Missy Elliott Quotes

The bombastic, dynamic Virginia-born rapper Missy Elliott has been bending sounds, ears and genres for decades. Known for some of the most inventive lyrics and music videos, Elliott also earned the distinction this year of being the first female rapper and third hip-hop artist inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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But with hit songs and albums galore, many of which with producer Timbaland, one might wonder what the now-51-year-old lyricist has to say about the world around her outside of her music. What are her thoughts on life and love, her craft and current events?

Here are the best 33 Missy Elliott quotes.

1. “My imagination is so far out there already. People couldn’t imagine what goes on in my brain.”

2. “I’ve learnt to be happy by myself.”

3. “I try not to be cruel to people. I know there’s a karma, and I’m constantly thinking of my blessings. I live and die by being a Baptist. If I can’t go to church on a Sunday, I’ll get a tape by the Clark Sisters and slide it in for the day.”

4. “If I’m paying people, and they’re not handling my business right, I have to check them. ‘Cause sometimes you’re nice, people don’t jump on what they’re supposed to do, but if you go in there screaming at everybody—’Look, why aren’t my posters up?’ or ‘Why wasn’t my single out on this day?’—then they jump right on it.”

5. “I still go on YouTube and watch the old performances and the ‘Soul Train’ lines. I’m still amazed by how much soul and funk the music and dancers had.”

6. “Don Cornelius was a genius. He created a show where he was breaking artists’ songs. If you were on his show, he made the consumer want to go out and purchase your music. He will be greatly missed. If they ever try to recreate what he did, it has to be done right, authentic and real with soul! That’s what Don displayed.”

7. “It feels different…. When hip-hop was beginning for me, people weren’t making the kind of money that they make now. It was for the love of doing it and having fun with it.”

8. “I believe that tracks speak to me. Some tracks make me write certain music or make me feel sad or inspire me to write a sad love song. Each track has its feeling to me.”

9. “All of the trials and tribulations from personal to the artist. It shows that I’m human. People see the glamorous stuff, but they don’t see the background.”

10. “I still don’t want no broke dude! I’m open to offers, but he’s got to be stable. I see a lot of friends who feel they have to be with a man, but they always pick the wrong one. Are there any right ones?”

11. “I felt like, ‘How do I fit in?’ But then I never fit in. The whole time, I’ve never fit in.”

12. “Things happen in your life, and then you can write something else instead of the same three topics—like, how many times can we write about the clubs?”

13. “My mother helped me to be who I am: to have strength and not to let people run all over me and yet to be humble; to realize that all of this that I have today could be gone.”

14. “I got to feel like what I’m giving the fans is 100 percent and that it’s game-changing.”

15. “I was always feisty, always that kid that would be on the porch with a hairbrush singing or rapping.”

16. “If I wanted to do ‘The Missing Files of Missy Elliott,’ I have probably six albums just sitting there.”

17. “I can’t complain. I think when you get to a certain point, you shouldn’t complain because there’s so many people who would kill to get to this point.”

18. “I still represent for overweight adults and kids, but I am also now painfully and personally aware of the health issues.”

19. “I didn’t want to just be an artist and let someone else have all that control over me. I knew I would have to produce.”

20. “There’s that saying: ‘God gave you talent, and if you don’t use it He’ll take it away from you.’ And I always said, ‘I don’t want God to come down and take my talents away.’ So, by using all these talents and being successful in all of them, I’ve always got something to fall back on.”

21. “No matter what I’m doing for myself or someone else, I’m constantly writing and working on other people’s albums.”

22. “It’s funny, because for females in general – not just in music, but the corporate ladder as well –anything we do has always been harder for us. When it comes to music, the industry wants you to conform, to look like this and to sound like this and do this or that. It makes it harder. It’s harder for us to come out and be bosses and lead the pack.”

23. “I never drank water. Always soda. I didn’t use to like water, but I’ve had to train myself to drink it.”

24. “When I create something, it’s got to be special, and it can’t just be to throw something out there because I feel like I’m Missy.”

25. “I know how domestic violence can affect a family, and I want to do everything I can to stop it from happening to others. The most important thing we can do is teach kids that they can break the cycle.”

26. “I never record in front of anybody.”

27. “I got more shy as I got older and realized people could be laughing at me or judging me.”

28. “No, I’m a flirtatious person; I’ll flirt all day long, but it really is hard to get into that when I’m so into the music, and I’m in the studio all day long and all night sometimes. That’s not an exaggeration.”

29. “I hear a lot of influence from me and Timbaland’s whole sound in a lot of records of today. But if you have classics like that, then I’m sure you gotta expect that it’s gonna influence some people. So, I’m fine with that.”

30. “I was very disturbed to find that a few people were angry at my weight loss.”

31. “Music should be your escape.”

32. “I know that some people shy away from what I say. They think it is too blunt, but when you don’t give people that, they feel like you are being fake and you’re not telling the truth. So it’s like, you want me to tell the truth, but when I do, it’s too much for you.”

33. “Rule number one in negotiating anything with Missy is never try and run me over. Never push me, because I am a very strong woman. I’m nice, but I’m very strong. When it gets down gritty, I can get grittier. Never, ever underestimate me.”

Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

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