Missy Elliott has always been ahead of the curve. Not only on the topic of her sound, which skewed futuristic thanks to the cutting edge production of Timbaland and her own boundless creativity — but also on her co-signing of a young Slim Shady, who would later go on to become the world’s biggest rapper for a lengthy time period. Today marks the twenty-first anniversary on Missy’s sophomore album Da Real World, which featured her first-and-only collaboration with Eminem — the extremely explicit “Busa Rhyme” — mere weeks removed from the release of The Slim Shady LP.
Off the bat, Timbaland’s simplistic production captures immediate nostalgia, his minimalist touch highlighting the importance of his percussion. Missy herself seems content to sit back and allow Eminem to perform the ritual on his own, enhancing his violent musings with ad-libs and harmonies. After three verses of Slim Shady at his most unrefined and savage (one of his lyrics about a pregnant woman was even censored on the explicit version), Missy Elliot closes out Timbaland’s beat switch with a touch of class. While it’s hardly the song that showcases the scope of Misdemeanor’s talents, it remains a fascinating moment in hip-hop history — the uniting of Eminem, Missy Elliott, and Timbaland on a single track. Happy anniversary to Da Real World!
Jumped out of the 93rd floor of a building
And shot every window out on the way down to the ground
Woke up to a hospital staff, got up and laughed
Chopped em in half, suffocated the oxygen mask
If I get any higher
I’mma get the East and West beefing again
Fly back to Detroit and stand in the crossfire