Missy Elliott – Supa Dupa Fly (1997)

I haven’t listened to a lot of rap albums so I don’t really know all that much about rap conventions, but from a newbie listener’s perspective I absolutely enjoyed Missy Elliott’s debut album. Arriving fully formed as an artist with a distinct vocal identity, Elliott manages to stand above the entire album and seems completely in control of its sound and direction from the first few songs. Tracks like “The Rain” and “Izzy Izzy Ah” manage to turn into earworms just about immediately, while other tracks like “I’m Talking,” “Hit ‘Em Wit Da Hee” and “They Don’t Wanna Fuck Wit Me” point to her later, evolving sound. This is a tremendously well-crafted and entertaining debut album that announces Elliot as a major talent to watch, and suggests that she has even more to offer.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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