Missy Elliott is on the cover of next month’s Marie Claire, and in the issue she opens up about her success, gender equality and leaving a legacy.
Speaking about the how she’s broken down barrier’s for women of colour, the rapper says, “I am a champion for my brown, dark women. I want them to be seen. Because we are beautiful. If we knew how special we were, we would be unstoppable.”
At 48, Elliott is also looking to the next generation coming up on her heels.
“I do want to make the generation behind feel like, don’t be afraid, because we are in a time where so many people can be artists,” she says. “Now you can just post up, and if it gets to the right person, then it’s just viral. I want to be able to encourage those who don’t go viral… A lot of people that have 452 or 100 followers may be talented. I want them to not feel like they have to do what everybody else is doing to gain that attention. Just be you. It’s going to catch hold somewhere.”
As for the issue of equality for women in music, Elliott says, “We need more women out there, singing and just for being. Just for balance. Just a great balance.”
With all of her success, though, Elliott tries to take everything in stride.
“I was just going, going, going. It wasn’t resonating what was happening. I was in the car with Michelle Obama [for ‘Carpool Karaoke’ in 2016], and they [my friends] called me like, ‘Girl, we got to celebrate that’s huge!’ And I’m like, ‘I’m watching a movie on Netflix,'” she recalls.
She adds, “One thing I always say, you will always get respect, but you won’t be hot forever…You have to mentally be prepared for those ups and downs.”
Elliott is also currently at work on her next album, and when asked what she wants people to think after listening to it, she offers simple: “There’s no one like Missy. No one.”