Tuesday 14 February 2012

Missy Elliott

12 or so years ago, Missy Elliott was frequently quoted by hip-hop artists and more mainstream artists as being a huge influence.

I had never heard of her at the time and couldn't understand how this ubiquitously proclaimed influence had so completely escaped my notice. When I did start to listen to her stuff two things struck me: 1) her music seemed unremarkable and 2) she was a most unlikely looking pop-star - breaking all stereo-types for female success in the pop music industry. Because of that second point, I was very impressed by her character.

Over the years I began to see what I had been missing.

Da Real World is a fantastic album.

Now for the French connection.

A few years ago - a spring afternoon- whilst wandering around the back streets of Bourges - that town that is geographically bang in the middle of France, I could hear in the near distance one of my favourite songs from Da Real World: "All N My Grill"  featuring M C Solaar. (I dread to think what the lyrics mean.)

I began to search out the source of the music. As I went round a corner and was beginning to enter stray-dogs'-ville, I looked up and saw leaning from a 3rd storey window and staring belligerently at the world below him  a bare-chested and shaven-headed young man and sat next to him  the ghetto blaster that was blasting forth Missy Elliott.

Terrific sound reproduction and I would have stopped there and listened till the end of the song where M C Solaar raps in French: but a degree of fear was beginning to creep into my person and so I continued on my walk and left him to annoy his neighbours.


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