MISSY ELLIOTT, Aug. 18, 1999

Missy Elliott was one of the many artists The 411 Online caught up with at The 1999 Source Hip-Hop Music Awards in Los Angeles.

What have you got in the works?

"Right now I'm getting ready to do a song with Janet Jackson. That's major to me, cause I'm a big fan of Janet's. It's gonna be called 'Nasty Girl 2000.' Y'all remember that. I'm about to do something with N'Sync -- another major project. And Aaliyah, so I've got a couple things going on in the kitchen."

What were your first impressions of the hip-hop when you first started out?

"I saw that I was in a very, very male-dominated world. My voice had to be very loud-spoken. Sometimes I had to give off that b---- mode. Some people didn't understand why I made a song called 'She's A B----.' But by now I think everyone knows that to me, a b---- is a female who's in control. We've always looked at it as being a dog and in a bad, negative way. But sometimes we have to give off an aggressive attitude because that's the way the males do it. When a female gives off that same attitude, we're called a b----. That's what I had to see. I had to see that sometimes I had to be a little bit loud-spoken. Be nice when I have to be, but at the same time I'm not gonna let you run all over me and make sure my business is taken care of. A lot of times they think females are kinda soft. That's not to knock the men. It's all good."

So I hear you were pretty excited about that Gap commercial?

"Oh, that's hot. That's major. I used to watch all of those Gap commercials and stuff so when I did it, I was like, 'Oh, man, I got a Gap commercial!'"

So how did you hook that up?

"My management handled that, so I don't know. I just was with it. When I heard, I was like, 'Yeah, I'm there.'"

Did you ever expect that you would blow up like you did?

"Nah, never. But, I mean, God is good, so a lot of times we don't see a lot of things coming, but I think he's got a lot of things in store for all of us. And that was one of my goals that He had in store for me."

Now that you've established yourself as an artist, have you been given more freedom?

"Aw, man, that feels good, you know? To not have to go and tape yourself up and squeeze into some small clothes just to please everybody. I can go out in a big pair of pants or big dress and don't have to worry about that. Cause people now, they don't look at the size. Even if they know you're healthy, they're like, 'Well, she's healthy, but she's dope.' They're so busy paying attention to the talent and the music now that people overlook the size as being an issue."

What was the first thing you bought when you made your money?

"The first cool thing... I bought my mother a car. Then another car. Then another car. A lot of cars and a lot of houses."

How important are The Source Awards to hip-hop?

"I think as far as rap and hip-hop, a lot of people thought that it was gonna be just a fad. To see us have an awards show that's televised -- a hip-hop awards show -- shows that we came a long way from the days of people thinking it was just gonna be in and out. So this is major to see this televised like any other major awards show."

What's up with Timbaland?

"He's doing the Aaliyah project, which is coming up. He's doing a score for a movie that Aaliyah's in. I think DMX might be in it, too. It's like a 'Romeo and Juliet' story."

-- Paradise and Mason Storm, The 411 Online

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