|MISSY "MISDEMEANOR" ELLIOTT - BIOGRAPHY||
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot is one of the most innovative and influential music producers of the 90s. Elliot works spans the pop musical spectrum from Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Gina Thompson, Mariah Carey to 702, SWV, ex-SWV member Coko, Total, Lil Kim, Ginuwine Adina Howard and Da Brat. Elliot's influences is not only musical. Through visually-arresting music videos directed by Hype Williams, she's had a positive effect on the image of plus-size women, adding sexiness and a playful sassiness.
Born an only child as Melissa Elliot in 1971 in Portsmouth, VA, into a household where, she's publicly admitted, her father was physically abusive to her mother, Patricia, Elliot retreated into her imagination; singing and performing in her room to an audience made up of her dolls. Later, she began winning high school talent shows. Her mother eventually left her father, working a slew of jobs to support herself and her daughter. Elliot, as part of the vocal group Sista, signed to Elektra through Jodeci member/producer Devante Swing's Swing Mob Records after a backstage audition. Elliott and her friend Tim "Timbaland" Mosley wrote songs for Jodeci's Diary Of A Mad Band album. The Sista album was never released and when the label folded, Mosley began producing and writing songs for singer Aaliyah. Elliot, who had recommended him to Swing Mob, began collaborating with him. The duo's work with Aaliyah (One In A Million, If Your Girl Only Knew, Are You That Somebody) sold millions. The success put Elliot's talents in high demand. Though she appreciated the success and rewards of her newfound status, Elliott still yearned for singing stardom. Elliott still pursuing her dream began doing guest raps on various artists' releases. Initially rebuffed by record labels, who felt she didn't fit "the image", Elliot was signed to Elektra in 1996 that included a production deal with her own company, The Gold Mind. Her 1997 debut LP, Supa Dupa Fly aided by the single, "The Rain" and associated cartoony hyperactive music videos, went platinum. One singer signed to her company, Nicole had a debut gold album, Make It Hot. Others act signed to The Gold Mind are rapper Dangermouf, singer/rapper Mocha and singer TC.
With the fortune earned from her musical endeavors, Elliott was able to buy her mother a 100,000 square foot Virginian home. She also supervised and guested on the soundtrack of the Frankie Lymon biopic, Why Do Fools Fall In Love (Warner Bros., 1998).
Missy Elliot has a lot of projects planned: writing a movie script, there's talk of a possible HBO cartoon series based on her space-age music video persona. The singer appeared in a national TV ads for the Gap clothing chain & Coca Cola's Sprite and at the 1998 Lilith Fair. There's a "Misdemeanor" lipstick line sponsored by model/"Mrs.David Bowie", Iman. A portion of the profits are earmarked to Break The Cycle, a non-profit organization whose mission is to end domestic violence by working proactively with youth.