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TGJ Replay: Missy Elliott’s ‘Under Construction’

Published: Monday 17th Jun 2013 by Rashad

Much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past.  So in a quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday we introduced a new retrospective segment – ‘TGJ Replay’.

Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase albums (and eras) from a library of pop music hits.  Today, we go back to Missy Elliott’s best selling album to date – 2002’s ‘Under Construction’.  It all awaits under the hood…

After littering charts with hits like ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain’, ‘All In My Grill’, and ‘Get Ur Freak On’ from her three previous releases, 2002 saw singer/songwriter/rapper/producer Missy Elliott return to the lab to mix a follow-up.

Titled ‘Under Construction’, the album would be Elliott’s first offering post-death of friend/R&B princess Aaliyah.  The loss would act as a muse for many of Missy’s forthcoming offerings – sonically and visually.  Alternatively, Missy was celebrating the other significant loss in her life – weight.

Showing off a new figure and bringing on board her longtime collaborator Timbaland to act as co-executive producer on the project, the two birthed what would later become the best selling female rap album of all time.

Kicked off by the funky fresh, Run DMC-sampled tune ‘Work It’

‘Work It’

It was abundantly clear that Elliott was playing approximately no games with this release.  With Dave Meyers in tow as director of the song’s eccentric video, the song quickly shot to the top of charts.  Not only reaffirming Missy’s reign as one of rap’s most visually creative artists, but also landing the Virginian femcee her biggest solo hit to date.

It’s Ludacris-assisted follow-up ‘Gossip Folks’ had people talking just as much.  The tune, which saw the duo reteam after their 2001 ‘One Minute Man’ hit, quickly shot to the U.S. top 10.  Its video, yet again directed by Missy’s go-to video guy Dave Meyers, brought its lyrics to life and weighed in many-a-controversial topic surrounding the hip hop hitmaker at the time (see:  weight, sexuality, etc.).

‘Gossip Folks’

Combined, the tunes helped the album shift over 250k its first week and, as of 2012, it has shifted ten times that.  Landing in history books as the best selling rap album by a female rap artist and giving Missy her best solo numbers to date.

Lined with gems like ‘Nothin Out There For Me (feat. Beyonce)’ and its third, sexually explicit single ‘Pussycat (feat. Tweet)’

‘Pussy Cat’ (featuring Tweet)
‘Nothin Out There For Me’ (featuring Beyonce)

The album is still considered one of the millenium’s best hip hop offerings over a decade since its release.  The album’s critical acclaim led it to ‘Best Rap Album’ and ‘Album of the Year’ nominations at the 2003 Grammys.

Such acclaim is a sentiment shared by us here at TGJ HQ as ‘Funky Fresh Dressed’ is a constant play.  So, now that we’ve revealed our fave from this modern masterpiece, you tell us:


Your thoughts?

Comments 26

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  1. the real xoxo June 17, 2013

    i loved this album!
    however ‘Supa Dupa Fly’ is the best Missy album.

  2. JARED (WHITE DUDE) June 17, 2013

    I LOVE THIS ALBUM.

    ‘Outkast’ absolutely deserved the Grammy for ‘Album of the Year’ but, to this day, I think there should of been a tie.

    This album was AMAZING. 😉

    I miss 1997 – 2004 Missy. 🙁

    • truth(icki’s B**** ASS STANS can EAT ME honey!! Yall b**** is a STANK P**** FLOP chile! (puckers lips like Drake)) June 17, 2013

      H** u try tooooo hard. I think ill drag u whenever i feel like it…U EXTRA B****!!

  3. TeamBreezy June 17, 2013

    ‘Back In the Day” with Jay Z is my favorite!
    Great Album

    • WAVES HAND June 17, 2013

      THE TOPIC IS ABOUT MISSY YOU IDIOT! TAKE THAT SOME WHERE ELSE.

  4. King B>Rihanna June 17, 2013

    Is it worth it, let me work it
    I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it

  5. Wacky O June 17, 2013

    I personally think this is missy’s worst album! 3 of the same song on the album!

    Bring the pain or can you hear me are probably the best songs.

    Da real world and Missy E Addictive are her best more so Real World

  6. truth(icki’s B**** ASS STANS can EAT ME honey!! Yall b**** is a STANK P**** FLOP chile! (puckers lips like Drake)) June 17, 2013

    EPIC cd honey

    • truth(icki’s B**** ASS STANS can EAT ME honey!! Yall b**** is a STANK P**** FLOP chile! (puckers lips like Drake)) June 17, 2013

      OOOONNNLLYY that SLUTTY icki with her SLUTTY stans would thumbs down so many positive post honey lol

  7. Iggy Inc June 17, 2013

    Garbage

    • WAVES HAND June 17, 2013

      FIND THE DUMP. WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF LIKE THAT.

  8. Greg June 17, 2013

    Loved this album! But Da Real World is her best album, it’s also her most grown album, if u know what I mean.

  9. Sterling Infinity #SexDrone June 17, 2013

    I still jam out to this record how many years later? Missy is a classic!

  10. MC June 17, 2013

    Y’all have no idea how much I love and respect Missy. I love this album, in fact I love all her albums and enjoy The Cookbook. Missy is one hell of underrated female rapper. Unlike her counterparts, Missy didn’t focus too much in s** but the artistic and fun side of rap.

  11. Touché June 17, 2013

    I hope she gives us another album. Love to hear some new material from her.

  12. WAVES HAND June 17, 2013

    I SEE A LOT OF MISSY HATERS PASS THROUGH…GO SIT ON HOT ASPHALT. MISSY IS CLASSIC. THIS AIN’T NO HIP POP CANDY POP IDIOTS. MISSY IS A HIP HOP ICON/LEGEND; SHE’S BEEN AROUND A LONG TIME…LOVE YOU MISSY:)

    http://youtu.be/iEzTXCSDjdU

  13. Navy Sailor June 17, 2013

    Missy was always so ahead of her time. She never has to release another album again since she is STILLLLL slaying behind the scenes. Buuuuttt if she does, I’d love for her to release an album of straight singing (and a little bit of rap). I love her singing voice and harmonies.

  14. Loyalty June 17, 2013

    Love missy. My fave female rapper!

  15. Suicide Blonde June 17, 2013

    I was listening to this album yesterday, you read my mind Sam.

  16. Michael June 17, 2013

    I loved this album and how animated Missy was.

    I thought Lauryn Hill had the best selling female hip hop album tho. DIdnt Lauren sell over 10 million copies in US alone???

  17. bibi93 June 18, 2013

    Classik!!

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