Missy Elliott on Her First Headlining Tour and Potentially Dropping the Six Albums Worth of Music She’s Recorded: ‘That’ll Happen Sooner Rather Than Later’

Missy Elliott’s Solo Tour: A Musical Odyssey

It is almost unbelievable but Missy Elliott has never embarked on a headline solo tour. Her last consistent tour was in 2004 together with Beyoncé who was promoting her debut album “Dangerously in Love” as well as Alicia Keys and Tamia on the Verizon Ladies First Tour. According to her, she feels that her upcoming tour, Out of This World — The Missy Elliott Experience is long overdue. “I felt like it was time,” she says, “It’s just a good time. Especially for my era of fans out there to just see me do my own headline tour, they never got a chance to see that, and a new generation, too.”

How Missy Elliott Remains Relevant

Despite not releasing a single album since ‘The Cookbook’ in 2005, Elliott’s mark is indelible on pop music. At every turn, one can catch glimpses of her unique art style that bends the reality and music all over modern culture. Although sometimes she may withdraw or have little activity, appearing as guests here and there or even putting up stunning performances at places such as MTV Video Music Awards; Missy Elliott has managed to always have fans entertained since debuting in 1997 with “Supa Dupa Fly”.

Missy Misdemeanor Elliott: The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) (Music Video 1997) -  IMDb

As she embarks on this new journey, Missy Elliott is reaching out not only to her lifelong followers but also engaging with a new generation that first heard about her music via social media platforms. Both diehard fans who have been following her work throughout the years and newcomers alike will find this solo tour highly thrilling due to her continuing relevance and omnipresence. When the show gets started, fans can expect an amazing display that captures Ms E.’s innovative essence and monumental contributions toward music over many years. Out of this world, the Missy Elliott Experience is to be a career celebration, offering audiences an exclusive opportunity to witness her extraordinary talent for the first time on a solo level.

The First Headline Solo Tour by Missy Elliott – With anticipation building up, it has been tipped as one of best shows in the music industry. It will highlight both her lasting impact and the timeless quality of her art.

Missy Elliott’s Solo Tour: A Pivotal Achievement

For Missy Elliott, going on a headline tour at this point in her career is only fitting, given all that she has achieved. At present, she basks in the glory of being admitted into not just one but two prestigious halls; Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well as Songwriters Hall of Fame. And then finally, there is even a street in her home town Portsmouth named after her. Having decided it was time to spread some musical magic across the country with Out Of This World tour which featured long time career partners, Busta Rhymes and Ciara as well as Timbaland who has always been by her side.

Even though it has been years since an album from Missy Elliott hit shelves; having everyone who truly matters around you bring your legacy back to life onstage seems like a good idea. For this reason, this tour will be nothing short of grandeur with each arena show being meticulously constructed so as to represent Missy Elliott vibrant and innovative world throughout the years.

52 year old Missy Elliott is deeply involved in the difficult task of whittling down the long list of her own solo hit songs and those she has written and produced for others; it is in preparation for her forthcoming tour. Collaborations with Busta Rhymes who opened and closed “Supa Dupa Fly” are anticipated as well as with Ciara that has been following Elliot throughout her music career. While preparing for this tour, Missy Elliott is not just focusing solely on the collaborative performances, but also reflecting on the work that has brought her to such an amazing point in her career. She is thoughtfully considering how to translate her vast and influential body of work into a captivating live show.

The Future

With ‘Out of This World’ tour, Missy Elliott intends to give fans a memorable ride through her illustrious career. Every performance will be another proof of talent, creativity and essence she left in world music. As she continues to perfect details of her set-list as well as collaborating with fellow artists, fans can anticipate an extraordinary experience that pays tribute to one of the most innovative icons in music history. In summary, going on a headline tour by Missy Elliott represents a high note in an illustrious carrier which brings together crucial milestones achieved by means of collaboration with instrumental partners on this journey. Rather than simply being some concert event, this tour becomes a festival of her perpetual heritage; one arena at time.

Missy Elliott’s First Headlining Tour: What about Now?

Missy Elliott Announces First-Ever Tour of North America | Pitchfork

This is your first headlining tour thus far. So the question is, why now?

However, I have had chances before, but since I was so deep into producing and writing records for other people I didn’t get around to them. I was heavily involved in the shaping of others and my attention was on that avenue. It kept me very busy and gratified in so many ways, which meant that I had to put my own touring plans on standby for some time. Then one day I just woke up and I felt like going out on the road. It was a sort of revelation, a sudden realization that it is now time for me to do this. For long, I had been making music for other musicians thus creating their tunes as well as producing them but at that point, there was an immense urge I felt to communicate with my fans directly using live shows.

When I told my team about this idea, they thought it was a joke. They were like “ok Missy”. This seemed so unexpected because all I did was behind the scene work which left everyone puzzled. My manager called me the next day; she has always been supportive and attentive to me even if she sometimes misunderstands me. She asked,” Are you sure? Weren’t you kidding?” I replied firmly, “No, I want to go out, this is for real this time.” I was committed and wanted everybody else to know that I really meant it. It wasn’t just a thought or fancy of the moment. To me, this tour had to occur because my music must reach the fans in a completely different way.

Making A Decision

Deciding on such a headlining tour did not happen overnight. It was driven by a genuine need to connect with my listeners and allow them feel the taste of live shows as well. For me, this tour signifies new beginnings since I am stepping into the limelight in a more profound manner than ever before and spreading my energy & passion throughout various venues across America.

A New Sort of Challenge

How does being the headliner differ for you from being part of these bigger vision tours that are co-billed?

Yeah, this really has an entirely different vibe. In co-billed tours, you share the stage with other major artists hence creating collective energy among yourselves.. However, being the headliner puts all the focus on me, and it’s more about what I am going to do because I’m the headliner. This role comes with its own set of challenges and expectations.

Absolutely fun though! Man, i feel like kid in candy store. Being at the center stage gets me thrilled while also allowing more creativity in terms of performance on my side. Therefore you know what? I’ll try put everything up there on that stage. Actually i will be able to demonstrate all my artistic abilities and express myself through bringing ideas alive based on personal concepts. And then again, I have Busta and Ciara so I’m excited about that because i didn’t just go out and get the hottest people. They are hot anyways because they have too many songs that can be sung even after a long time. It was not about being trendy by including Busta Rhymes and Ciara. They are great entertainers with timeless hits whose music can resonate with different generations.

But I wanted that energy to match the energy that I have, so I believe that all of us have the same energy. It’s you and me dancing the whole time, the connection between us is important to mention here. Therefore, when we perform together our fans will enjoy themselves since we create a lot of excitement among them through our dancing up on stage at all times.

Putting it all Together

As the headliner, I’m in charge of curating the entire show and fusing my music with dynamic performances by Busta Rhymes and Ciara. I felt like this brought everything full circle as well as bringing my music into play alongside both ciara’s & busta rhymes’ powerful performance abilities. This blend creates a high impact live experience that plays up each other’s strengths while keeping things interesting throughout the tour for everyone involved.

You mentioned Ciara, Busta and Timbaland of course. Throughout your time in music, you have been involved in various projects with them. Are you planning any cross pollination between sets?

Inside Missy Elliott's first headlining tour, kicking off in Vancouver -  Langley Advance Times

Keeping the Excitement Alive, this could go either way, you know what I mean? I want to make sure everybody comes out and sees it. Trust me when I say I am trying so hard not to tell you how amazing this is going to be… But maybe yes [laughs]. The potential for cross pollination between our sets is definitely there, but surprise is key because the magic will happen live on stage before the crowd’s eyes.

From Award Shows to Tour Stages

You’ve done these show-stopping performances at award shows over the past few years. But it’s a different beast to take on a headlining tour. How has it been boiling down your discography into a tight set?

It’s hard man! That’s probably the most difficult part about this, because literally people are all day up under my posts or tweet, “I hope you do this record.” Y’all have me on stage for five hours! The challenge of condensing my extensive discography into a cohesive setlist is immense. Fans constantly request their favorite songs which can be frustrating as they cannot all be accommodated.

So I’m like tryna blend stuff together, so that way I can try to please everyone but I know that won’t work though, that’ll never happen but just getting near it right now. Whereas an ever increasing number of requests flood in from fans around the world begging for their favorite hits, I’m fighting to give them a show that they will never forget. It is not possible to satisfy everybody’s request but I am here to make sure everyone leaves my concert with unforgettable memories.

Furthermore, the excitement of collaborating with artists like Ciara, Busta Rhymes, and Timbaland, with the challenge of maintaining a headlining tour, is both thrilling and demanding. Additionally, the potential for on stage cross pollination adds an element of surprise that fans will love. Moreover, condensing my extensive discography into a tight, engaging set has been tough, but I am committed to creating a show that will leave a lasting impression. Overall, this tour represents a new chapter in my career, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Revisiting Pre-“Supa Dupa Fly” Music

Are any plans to include music from before “Supa Dupa Fly,” like from Fayze or Sista?

Oh… No if I go back that far definitely… Y’all would be coming back about every week if I go back that far. Y’all would be coming back for another week straight every day. Incorporating music from my Fayze or Sista days means this concert goes on forever and ever without end. My early work is huge and putting it in the tour would take more than one performance, that will take a lot of time. Therefore covering so much ground at once isn’t just feasible enough for me because it doesn’t fit in one show.

Though I am grateful for the enthusiasm about my previous songs, it is important to ensure that listeners enjoy watching the performances while at the same time making them bearable. Concentrating on only major hits starting from “The Rain” onwards helps in maintaining an engaging and thrilling performance without overloading the concertgoers with a lot of stuffs. It’s all about finding equilibrium so as to have a show that people will remember for life. By starting the setlist at “The Rain,” I am able to reach out fans through some of my most influential, and well known works . It’s a tactical choice aimed at creating an impactful and memorable live experience. In focusing on these defining moments in my career, I can give a performance that showcases my musical journey and keeps the audience engaged.

The Stressful Birth of a Landmark Album

Four Missy Elliott albums are being reissued on vinyl for the first time

This is going to be 25 years since “Da Real World” on June 22nd. What sticks in your mind about that time working with Timbaland? That album sounded like the future then, and it sounds like the future now. So how do you feel about it looking back?

That album was stressful. [Laughs] That was really stressful for me; that was my most stressful record. And later I appreciated that album. The pressure came from the sophomore jinx, which is when artists are unable to reproduce the success of their first albums due to a variety of factors. You know anything about albums periods, because second album we call this sophomore jinx and so especially if you have a good first album you are stressed out because you’re chasing, trying to be that first album. The anxiety came from wanting to surpass the achievements of my debut album.

That was successful for me in terms of that record being my debut record, so as far as visual or sound goes what could be bigger than “The Rain”. This was an enormous challenge because I wanted something better than what I had already done in all aspects. My music had no limits rather, it always aimed at discovering innovative heights.

An Appreciation Afterthought

Years later, I look back on that and that was probably one of the most creative periods because it was theatrics mixed in with hip-hop.  The album’s creative process was a pioneering one for its time, fusing elements of drama and hip-hop in a way that had not been done before. There are a lot of strings in a lot of the songs, I don’t want to say dark strings but it’s very theatrical—very dramatic. By adding dramatic strings into my music, I brought something different from other rap albums. If you think about “All N My Grill,” the record with Redman… In particular this track represents what Da Real World was all about; innovation. This unity between hip hop and theatre found resonance in many souls making it last forever on people’s playlist.

You see! You know better than me! So all of that had… Even in “She’s a Bitch,” the breakdown… Everything was very dramatic. The album was a perfect mix of theatrical breakdowns and dramatic elements as seen in tracks like “She’s a Bitch.” Therefore, I still count that album among my top ones because at that very moment it was quite stressful but when I look back, damn, we were inside a pocket, different kind of pocket which is amazing to blend together because it was hip-hop but yet the theatrics remained.

This time there was something special about our artistic imagination as we synchronized rap with stagecraft. This two way mixing provided the basis for a unique sound on the album “Da Real World” as compared to other albums of its time. Stressing out to come up with something groundbreaking ended up being worth it through an album whose approach remains innovative and distinguished till date.

The Anticipation of “Block Party” and Future Releases

For years now you’ve teased us about “Block Party.” It’s 2019 when we got the Iconology EP. Last year Tim said y’all were locked in hoping that s**t would drop before summer even hit. So question always asked: What’s up?

Well…you just don’t know me, man! I mean this is how [the tour] came all these years talking about “The Rain,” like 27 years later here I go like, oh I’m going out on the road. Unlike most musicians who announce dates for their albums ahead of time, my releases are usually unannounced.

It’s one thing I think about really in terms of music you know? Whenever I feel like it’s time to drop a whole album, that’s when I do. I am someone who drops music at random times. When I tell you that there will be a new album out, it is as unexpected as the tour announcement. It is all about waiting for the perfect moment and feeling inspired to share my sound with the world.

How much music would you say you’ve got saved up, solo records, since “The Cookbook?”

Oh my God. [Laughs] Can you imagine somebody like Prince answering that? Mostly because if you’re a writer and producer or any kind of person like that, then you’re probably recording all the time. The studio sees me working constantly as I’m always writing and producing new songs. So by now on this one, maybe six albums worth of material are ready in line at least.

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott appears in a portrait taken while working at Quad Studios on June 20, 1998 in New York City.

Motivation from Timbaland, Missy… Come on!

Yeah. And Tim is always saying that to me, “What you waiting for? So what you waiting for then?” Missy explained how Tim helps her see that she hasn’t released enough music. Timbaland often encourages me, asking why I haven’t released more of my music. I be like, I don’t know. But yeah, I believe that it’ll be a day that everybody’s going about their way, and then you just look online and see an album date from me. So yeah, I think that’ll happen sooner than later. 

A Passage Through Time

You’ve had decades in the industry and have put out so many great albums and done great things. Have you had time to stop and reflect on your legacy, or take a step back even further away to look at everything you have accomplished? Or are you still in awe?

Oof. I have been telling people this. Only now am I starting to realize that sometimes I would tell myself that wow, I have been around music business for a long time only right now realizing that maybe there’s something going on here about my legacy though. After decades in the music industry, I’m only now beginning to see and appreciate the legacy I’ve built. It’s a surreal feeling, realizing the impact of my work and understanding that perhaps I do have a significant legacy.

Maybe there are many things for me but definitely, rock hall was like icing on top of it all in most cases; there were some moments where i sat back, looked at all these things such as Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame & Songwriters Hall Of Fame or having a street named after you. These special acknowledgement, from my induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and even having a boulevard named after me, have been incredible milestones. These achievements highlight the impact of my career and the recognition I’ve received over the years.

The Moment of Realization

But I think just now it’s starting to click, because I’ve spent so much of my career, if I wasn’t doing records for myself, I was doing records for other artists so I was just constantly going, going, going, without stopping to even think about any of those things. And now I can. For most of my career, I was always on the move, either working on my own music or producing for other artists. This relentless pace left little room for reflection. However, now that things have slowed down a bit, I’m able to appreciate these milestones more fully.

Missy Elliott performs at the DKNY presents the Vanity Fair "In Concert" series a tribute to Aaliyah in New York on October 22, 2002. Photo by Myrna...


Just the other day my cousin decided to hit me and said, “I am in L.A. I am just about to go see your star! We are proud of you!” This is a nice feeling because, at least it’s one of my cousin’s houses that I used to clean up. He used to tell me “You can still come clean my house anytime you want!” Hearing from family members like my cousin who recently visited my star in L.A., brings it all home. Just as well, when they express their pride and support especially because we have come from so far off with humble beginnings and personal connections.


In conclusion, I have had a long journey through the music industry filled with significant achievements that I am only now beginning to fully appreciate. The story of recognition from prestigious halls of fame as well as personal family anecdotes underscores the importance of my work. It’s like an intense realization that this heritage keeps on growing and expanding in some way thus; for these accomplishments, it is good for me to look back at them finally.

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