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’…
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.).
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: