Missy Elliott Reflects On Being “A Big Sister To Those Coming Behind Me” 

Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott said artists need mentors to support them early in their careers, as Mary J. Blige and Diddy did for her.

Although she is a Hip-Hop legend in her own right, Missy Elliott recognizes the importance of paying tribute to those who paved the way while also reaching back to help the next generations of artists.  

In a new interview, the Virginia-born musical visionary reflected on becoming friends with the women who “kicked down the doors,’ for artists like her.  

“Women have played a big part in what we call hip-hop in- in this culture,” Missy Elliott told Forbes. “These women are my friends, and we don’t just come together when it’s time to perform; we speak on the phone and hang around each other.” 

She continued: “I always think about how these are the same women that I looked up to and still do. They have kicked down the doors for all the women you see today in 2023. Even if the women that are out now may not be familiar with all of their records, they have to know that these women are the reason they’re able to be on many of these platforms.” 

The “Work It” hitmaker also paid tribute to Salt-N-Pepa, who “made me say I want to be an emcee.” She described the trailblazing crew as “the whole package,” who “had the records,” but also “made us want to dress like them.”  

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Missy Elliott On Her Mentors – Diddy And Mary J. Blige

Missy Elliott, who recently participated in the multi-generational Grammys Hip-Hop’s 50th-anniversary tribute, also explained the importance of supporting up-and-coming artists.  

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“I had people like Mary J. Blige and Diddy tell me what to do and how to be a go-getter, a hustler, be consistent and be different, things you need in this industry,” she stated before mentioning the hurdles new artists face.  

“So when you have that mentor, it’s everything, especially someone who has already been on that walk. It’s very important for me to be a big sister to those coming behind me because I had Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and Salt-N-Pepa be that to me.”