This Week's Pick: "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" by Missy Elliott (Year: 1997)
Missy ("Misdemeanor") Elliott has been working hard for a while now — even before releasing hits like "Lose Control" and "Get Ur Freak On," she got her start writing/producing and appearing as a guest on other artists' albums.
It was 1997 when she finally released her debut album Supa Dupa Fly, which featured the hit/lead single "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)." The track featured Elliott rapping over sparse, moderate beats that were juxtaposed against a sample from Ann Peebles' "I Can't Stand the Rain." The end result was a pretty original-sounding track.
Oddly enough, it was the video for the song that was practically as memorable as the track itself. On first glance, the video — directed by Hype Williams — didn't seem all that different from the other videos out there. It featured a number of cameos from well-established acts like Da Brat, Lil' Kim and Sean Combs (or Puff Daddy, or Puffy, or P. Diddy, or Diddy...) And people dancing. But it also featured some odd imagery, such as Elliott bopping around in a garbage bag-like outfit and later on, sitting on a grassy hill flopping her head around in a puppet-like fashion.
Whatever it is, there's something intriguing about the video — something that still has me remembering it so many years later. And looking back, it's no surprise we wound up hearing so many more innovative tracks (and seeing equally innovative videos) come from Elliott in her followups to Supa Dupa Fly.
Watch the video for "The Rain" below: