22 Years Later, Supa Dupa Fly Will Always Remain Timeless
Updated: Nov 11, 2019
It never fails every year I fall into this mood to listen to Missy Elliot’s "Supa Dupa Fly." I'm not sure what comes over me but I end up going days even weeks in a classic Missy trance. Every single time I get in this mood I find something new that I love about the album. As this mood recently happened I didn’t even realize the album just hit its 22 years. 22 freaking years!!!!!! Can you believe we’ve been blessed with Missy Elliot for 22 years?! As I go track for track on “Supa Dupa Fly” I sometimes forget who was all apart of this album to make it a classic. We have Busta, Lil Kim, Ginuwine, Timbaland of course, Da Brat, 702, Magoo, Nicole, Space and baby girl herself Aaliyah. Can you imagine the studio sessions with these legends?! I’m not sure about y’all but that’s something I think about; what is the magic like that happens when artists come together in one place?
The album opens up with the demanding voice of Busta Rhymes setting up Missy's debut album for the people and making sure they brace themselves to stay focused on this work of art. As we work through tracks 2-5 we are hit with immediate bangers that all made its way to the radio at its time. "Hit Em with the Hee" "Sock it to me", "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)", and "Beep Me 911" were songs that defined who Missy was and made us pay attention to her. Breaking down this album the beats on here are pivotal to this classic sound that easily hasn’t been duplicated...EVER. Timbaland's use of sounds whether big or small, synthesizers or just unthought of sound effects are unthinkable. In my opinion, one of the slept-on tracks on this album “Pass The Blunt” also a sample of Musical Youth, "Pass The Dutch", Timberland says,“Welcome y’all, to Timbaland and Missy hit factory, a lot of people try to sneak in and get the ingredients but I am the man behind the ingredients, so please please come to me for the rest of your days”. Followed by the interlude, “Bite Our Style” that goes right into them expressing that they know what they are capable of, and they make others want to be like them. It doesn’t come across cocky or arrogant especially on the R&B beat with Missy Elliot's soft singing voice. They just already knew how timeless they were, especially during the '97 era. No one sounded like them as a team with their futuristic production, or Missy's unique blend of words and vocal sounds over each track. Although the production stands out the most on this project, Missy’s in your face play on words along with her ability to interchange between singing and rapping will always be out of this world. I can never figure out which I love the most: if it’s her singing or rapping. The album itself holds so many gems that instantly set the tone for Hip-Hop & R&B as a combo. Songs like "Bria's Interlude" by Drake ft. Omarion was a sample from this album and wouldn't be here without the soulful futuristic sound of Missy Elliot, Timbaland, and Ginuwine on the track "Friendly Skies".
The album overall could stretch between genres from Pop, Hip-Hop, and R&B and I think that's what makes this so special. I remember hearing "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" when I lived in Guam in 1998 and it instantly became my favorite song because we had the keys to the jeep and we were literally riding to the beach. Missy was able to say anything and it was amazing. "Beep Beep, who got the keys to the Jeep? Vroom! I'm driving to the beach..." is so simple yet stands out so much, that till this day I bet anyone can finish off that lyric once heard. "Supa Dupa Fly" is a classic and was what opened the door for Timbaland and Missy Elliot's career. I'm not sure how long it took them to create this masterpiece but it did its job for them and Hip-Hop and R&B. What I love the most is that this album has a soulful romantic side but will also hit you with the braggadocios nature of Hip-Hop its self. "Supa Dupa Fly" will be one of the albums that will be in rotation on Sunday mornings when its time to clean the house with my children.
Thank you, Missy and Timbaland !