Ciara Talks Puff Daddy Convincing Missy Elliott To Rap For The First Time On A Record

One of the Songwriters Hall of Famer's earliest appearances on a song was a feature for Gina Thompson.

(AllHipHop News) The Lox repeatedly talk about how Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott played a pivotal role in the creation of “It’s All About the Benjamins.” Puff Daddy’s classic 1997 single was one of the clear standout tracks from the Bad Boy Entertainment era of the late 1990s.

Missy was still a relatively unknown singer-songwriter at the time the track was recorded. When asked about the Virginia-bred musician’s lack of notoriety when they began working on “Benjamins,” The Lox’s Sheek Louch said, “She had that record out with Gina Thompson. I think that was her introduction.”

The Bad Boy/Misdemeanor connection ties back to Gina Thompson in other ways as well. According to another frequent Elliott collaborator, Puff Daddy (now known as Diddy) was part of the reason why Thompson’s “The Things That You Do” included a verse from Missy.

“’The Things You Do’ by Gina Thompson featuring Missy Elliott. This was a really special moment because, if I’m not mistaken, this was like Missy’s first rap verse as an artist. And to my understanding, I think Puff had to convince her to hop on this record because she was kind of working from the angle as a writer and producer and all that good stuff,” revealed Ciara on her Level Up Radio show for Apple Music Hits.

Ciara continued, “It’s incredible to see Missy’s whole journey and to know stories like that, where things start from, and how you have your own unique way of starting out things in life. And I always say, it’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish. And her start was an incredible start and she just kept on leveling up along the way.”

Gina Thompson’s “The Things That You Do” dropped in 1996. That same year saw Missy Elliott appear on Taral Hicks’s “Ooh, Ooh Baby,” 702’s “Steelo,” New Edition’s “You Don’t Have to Worry,” and MC Lyte’s “Cold Rock A Party.” She also contributed production for the 1996 albums One In A Million by Aaliyah and Ginuwine… the Bachelor by Ginuwine.

Three years prior, Missy (credited as Melissa Elliott) was a songwriter and performer for child rapper Raven-Symoné’s “That’s What Little Girls Are Made Of.” Misdemeanor’s critically-acclaimed debut album, Supa Dupa Fly, arrived in stores in 1997. The LP went on to earn two Grammy Award nominations and Platinum certification. 

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