| Da Real World
15 July 1997
The Goldmind Inc.
| July 15, 1997 (1997-07-15)|
October 1996 - May 1997
Master Sound Studios
(Virginia Beach, Virginia)
hip hop soul
Grammy Award for Best Rap Album
Missy Elliott albums, Hip hop music albums
Supa Dupa Fly is the debut studio album by American rapper Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, released July 15, 1997 on The Goldmind and Elektra Records. The album was recorded and produced solely by Timbaland in October 1996, and features the singles, "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)", "Sock It 2 Me", "Hit Em wit da Hee" and "Beep Me 911". Guest appearances on the album include Busta Rhymes, Ginuwine, Nicole, Keith Sweat, Magoo, Queen Latifah, Da Brat, 702, Lil' Kim, K-Ci & JoJo and Aaliyah. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 and topped the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It sold 1.2 million copies in the United States, where it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
While in high school, Elliott formed a group called Fayze—later to be renamed Sista—with three of her friends. The group attracted the attention of record producer DeVante Swing, who was part of the R&B group Jodeci. After being signed the Swing Mob record label, Sista recorded an album in New York, but was never released. This led to subsequent termination of Sista's recording contract. Elliott returned to Portsmouth, Virginia, where she and record producer Timbaland began writing songs and contributed to singer Aaliyah's album One in a Million. In 1996, Elliott was signed to Elektra Records and was given her own record label, The Goldmind Inc.. Chairmen and chief executive officer (CEO) of Elektra at the time, Sylvia Rhone encouraged Elliott to embark in a solo career. Recording sessions of the Supa Dupa Fly took place at the Master Sound Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The album was produced solely by Timbaland.
The first single released from the album was "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)". As part of the promotional drive for her album, Elliott took part of the 1998 Lilith Fair tour; she became the first female rapper to perform at the event. She also joined rapper Jay-Z's Rock the Mic tour.
Supa Dupa Fly contains elements of alternative hip hop, hip hop, dance, R&B, and soul. According to author Mickey Hess, the album's lyrical content "reveals Elliott's complex, creative, and challenging discussion about womanhood; her demand for respect, respect for her personal voice and her desire for fulfilling intimacy with lovers and friends". The album's opening track, "Busta's Intro", features rapper Busta Rhymes as a town crier warning of a "historical event about to unfold". "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" contains a sample of Ann Peebles' 1973 song "I Can't Stand the Rain". "Pass da Blunt" is partly based on the song "Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth.
Upon its release, Supa Dupa Fly received acclaim among music critics. Writers lauded record producer Timbaland's production as unique and revolutionary, whose "lean, digital grooves are packed with unpredictable arrangements and stuttering rhythms". Music critic Garry Mulholland described Timbaland's production, "eschewing samples for a bump 'n' grind electronica, strongly influenced by the digital rhythms of dancehall reggae, but rounder, fuller, fatter". Elliott's rapping, singing and songwriting also received much acclaim. The 2004 edition of The Rolling Stone Album Guide rated the album five out of five stars, noting that the avant-garde sound of the album "made Elliott and Timbaland the hottest writer/producer team around". Mulholland called the album a "key prophecy of the dominant 21st century black pop", noting Elliott's ability to "avoid the whole east vs. west, playas vs. gangstas mess." He described Elliott's style as "everything the hip hop doctor ordered; a woman who could flip between aggression and romance, sex and nonsense, materialism and imagination, without batting one outrageously spidery eyelash".
With the release of Supa Dupa Fly, Elliott became one of the most prominent female rappers. The album is credited for redefining hip hop and R&B. Steve Huey of AllMusic felt that the album was "arguably the most influential album ever released by a female hip-hop artist", calling it a "boundary-shattering postmodern masterpiece". Spin magazine ranked the album at number nine on its Top 20 Albums of the Year. In 1998, four out of five music critics from The New York Times ranked the album as one of their top ten favorite albums of 1997. The album earned Elliott two Grammy Award nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance for "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)".
Supa Dupa Fly debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 with 129,000 copies sold in the first week released, the highest debut for a female rapper at the time. The album remained on the chart for 37 weeks. As of June 2008, the album sold 1.2 million copies in the United States and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
All tracks produced by Timbaland.
Credits for Supa Dupa Fly adapted from AllMusic.702 – vocals, performer
Aaliyah – vocals, performer
Kwaku Alston – photography
Gregory Burke – design
Busta Rhymes – vocals, rap, performer
Richard Clark – assistant engineer
Nicole - vocals, performer
Drew Coleman – assistant engineer
Da Brat – vocals, performer
Jimmy Douglas – engineer, audio mixing
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott – vocals, rap, executive producer
Ginuwine – vocals, performer
Lil' Kim – performer
Queen Latifah – rap, performer
Magoo – rap
Bill Pettaway – bass, guitar
Herb Powers – mastering
Keith Sweat – vocals, performer
Timbaland – vocals, producer, performer, executive producer, mixing
1Busta's IntroBusta Rhymes1:54Supa Dupa Fly Wikipedia
2Hit 'em Wit da HeeLil' Kim4:20
3Sock It 2 MeDa Brat4:17