How Missy Elliott Always Manages to Work It—No Matter What She's Tackling

Missy Elliott is a Grammy winner, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee and now...a Super Bowl ad staple? She tells E! News how she's managed to never get sidelined.

By Reggie Elzey Feb 08, 2023 10:26 PMTags
Watch: Missy Elliott Makes Rock & Roll Hall of Fame HISTORY

This is a Missy Elliott one time exclusive. Chatting with E! News, the "Work It" rapper shared that she is adding another artist to an expansive catalogue of collaborations that includes Beyoncé, Ciara and Janet Jackson.  

"That was the first conversation that we had before even saying anything else," she shared of teaming with "White Men Can't Jump" rapper-turned-actor Jack Harlow for a 90-second Super Bowl spot. "We most definitely are going to do something together, for sure." 

The two certainly had a ball while tackling a Doritos commercial for Sunday's big game that sees them in a love, uh, triangle. (Get it?) "It was amazing working with Jack. He's such a sweet person," Missy revealed. "He's such a such an incredible talent, musically, but his acting skills! I most definitely think we're gonna see him in a lot of movies because he can act. He's a natural."

Super Bowl 2023 Ads

And Missy, recently nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has plenty of in-game experience, having performed during the halftime show in 2015 in addition to appearing alongside Busta Rhymes, Morgan Freeman and H.E.R. for previous Super Bowl ads. 
In an exclusive interview with E! News, Missy shares how she has managed to avoid being sidelined during her 30-year career. 

E! News: Any advice for Rihanna before her halftime performance?

Missy Elliott: If I had to tell her anything, disconnect and just tap into what you do best. Rihanna is an icon, so I know that she knows what to do, and she's going to kill it! She's going to do her thing, she always does. When she comes out, it's going to be a big moment.

E!: Is there anyone else that you're still hoping to work with?

ME: Rihanna is one of them, actually! Andre 3000 is another. I want to do a rap record with Erykah Badu and Jill Scott! We know they can sing, and they are amazing singers but they're amazing MCs too and I don't think people know that. Me, Erykah, Jill, and Lauryn [Hill]. I want to see that!

E! Congrats on your nomination! How does it feel to know you've had such an impact on the music industry?

ME: It feels amazing. Most of the time I'm pinching myself to be honest because people say that to me, but when I go home to my family, they're like, "Look, if you eat off one of these dishes, you go in and you wash those dishes!" They're not treating me like Missy the superstar. they still call me Pumpkin. They still treat me like I'm Pumpkin. Hopefully I'm an inspiration, even if it's to one person, I'm humbly grateful for that.

Courtesy of Doritos

E!: How have you seen the representation of women of color in hip-hop change since the beginning of your career?

ME: I look at the black women [rappers] from the beginning, the Salt-N-Pepas, the MC Lytes, the Sha Rocks, even Angie Stone, Roxanne [Shante], Boss, and so many people before me. I know that they are looking like, "Wow, we really took the hinges off the doors." It was probably so much harder to perform in a lot of the spaces that they see us performing in. Just having the chance to watch generation after generation, the doors open up for other things like sitting in the same spaces as the Grammys and being [nominated] in these major categories. To be a nominee of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the first female MC is major, and I hope that it will open a door for all the other females after because we haven't had that. It's forever changing for the good, it's a blessing.

Missy Elliot's Best Looks

E!: Are you working on new music?

ME: I'm a secretive little squirrel, If I could have kept it a secret that I was coming out at the Grammys, I would have! Even when I did the Super Bowl with Katy, I was like, "Please don't tell anybody." If I don't say anything, it takes a lot of pressure off me because if I say anything, then my fans will be like, "Well, you said this and now it's been six months." I don't want to say anything, I just want to drop. That's probably why Beyonce does that! When you just can drop music out of nowhere, it takes so much pressure off.

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