Ranking the Best Missy Elliott Albums

Icon. That’s the only way to describe Missy Elliott, one of the greatest creative forces in the history of hip-hop. Along with her partner in crime Timbaland, the duo essentially rewrote everything we knew about rap and R&B.

They didn’t just rewrite the rules of production, delivery and songwriting, they totally threw them out and created a whole new blueprint – a new standard of excellence your faves are still following today.

Missy doesn’t live within boundaries. That’s why her music is so carefree, so influential and always ahead of its time.

While we (im)patiently await her return to the scene, let’s look back at Missy’s entire discography, ranking it from bottom to top.

These are the albums that literally changed the game.


6. The Cookbook (2005)

Soul in Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: I’ve always felt like The Cookbook was the least Missy Missy album, if you feel me. There are high points for sure but it seemed to lack the unabashed creativity and boundless energy of her earlier releases. Engaging, but not as effortlessly captivating as we’re used to.

Forgotten favorites: “Meltdown,” “Remember When,” “Click Clack”

this is not a test

5. This is Not A Test! (2003)

Soul in Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: Arguably Missy’s most underrated release, This is Not a Test tends to fly under the radar when it comes to convos about Missy’s work. But trust, there’s a lot to love here. When it comes to the album’s frantic soundscapes, Timbo and Misdemeanor are in perfect harmony and the diverse array of guests (the Clark Sisters!) really give this one a unique feel. If you haven’t checked this one out in awhile, it’s due for another listen.

Forgotten favorites: “Wake Up,” “Is This Our Last Time,” “Let Me Fix My Weave”

miss e

4. Miss E … So Addictive (2001)

Soul in Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: Home to some of Missy’s biggest records to date, and grabbing a couple of Grammys along the way, Missy’s third release is rightfully celebrated as one of the most daring albums of the new millennium. Sounding much more confident (and downright braggadocios), Missy’s expert songwriting shines here, making it an album that still holds up nearly two decades later.

Forgotten favorites: “Lick Shots,” “Old School Joint,” “Watcha Gon Do”


3. Da Real World (1999)

Soul in Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: I wasn’t a huge fan of Da Real World when it dropped in 1999. It felt too lengthy, too bloated with guests and too needlessly dark. But in the years that followed I’ve come to love it. And while several of my criticisms remain, what has led me to embrace this album over time is its otherworldly atmosphere. The bleak, reality-warping production is Afro-futurism at its finest. If Missy’s debut was a glimpse into the future, Da Real World plugged us directly into the matrix.

Forgotten favorites: “Smooth Chick,” “You Don’t Know,” “Mr. DJ”

supa dupa fly

2. Supa Dupa Fly (1997)

Soul in Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: It’s hard to describe this album if you weren’t around in 1997 to experience it firsthand. Supa Dupa Fly sounded NOTHING like anything before it – from Timbaland’s groundbreaking, mind-bending production to Missy’s scattershot rapping laced with R&B vocals. So much of what R&B and hip-hop takes for granted today started with this monumental album, an ode to outlandish creativity. Personally speaking, Supa Dupa Fly is one of the most influential albums of my lifetime, yet there’s still one album that’s technically superior.

Forgotten favorites: “Best Friends,” “Gettaway,” “I’m Talkin'”

under construction

1. Under Construction (2002)

Soul in Stereo rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: When fans think of Missy Elliott and her albums, invariably you’ll get mentions Supa Dupa Fly or Miss E…So Addictive, with maybe a mention or two of Da Real World. But no album featured Missy at her creative peak like Under Construction – an ode to the old-school hip-hop sound that influenced her career. Marrying 80s-era production with a 21st century flair, Under Construction was equal parts tribute and daring statement to individuality. Missy refuses to conform, and that’s what makes her, and this album, so special. It’s her most consistent and poignant work.

Forgotten favorites: “Hot,” “Funky Fresh Dressed,” “Bring the Pain”

What are your favorite Missy albums? Share them below.

Also check out: Supa Dupa Fly: The 10 Best Missy Elliott Videos



  1. Hip hop was so much fun when Missy and Outkast were running things

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