On this day [July 1] in 1971, a true pioneer for the ladies in Hip Hop was born—a rapper, producer, dancer and creative visionary unlike anything the genre had seen before (or after) she burst onto the scene.

Barbara Arnette Elliott, commonly known as Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. She began her career with the R&B group Sista (mentored by none other than Jodeci‘s DeVante Swing) until later joining childhood friend and fellow musician extraordinaire Timbaland in Swing Mob, where she worked closely with classic 90s female acts including Aaliyah, 702, Total and SWV.

Missy then bravely embarked on her solo career, kicking it off with her eponymous debut album Supa Dupa Fly (1997) featuring the hit singles:

“The Rain”:

and “Sock It To Me”:

Generating much success, the album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart. Missy then released her sophomore album Da Real World in 1999, that included hit singles:

“She’s A B*tch”:

“All In My Grill”:

and “Hot Boyz”:

The Virginia native continued to produce hit after worldwide hit, including:

“Get Ur Freak On”:

“One Minute Man”:

“4 My People,” “Gossip Folks,” and the Grammy award winning “Work It”:

Missy Elliott is currently a five time Grammy winner, selling over 30 million records in the USA alone. A true pioneer, embodying individuality and art fused together, her work towards making a lane for females in Hip Hop is arguably unrivaled. She is deservedly being honored at VH1’s Hip Hop Honors later this month.

For every great moment, there’s a song that goes with it.  We believe this is the SOUNDTRACK OF YOUR LIFE – SOL REPUBLIC.