August 18, 1997 12:00 PM

Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott

She has written hit songs for Aaliyah and SWV, and sung and rapped with New Edition and MC Lyte. Now Missy Elliott steps out with her first solo album, Supa Dupa Fly, the strongest debut from a female R&B artist since Mary J. Blige. Like Mary J., Missy takes the basic elements of R&B (the hook, the groove, the attitude) and strips them down to their essence. The songs that she and producer Timbaland construct are filled with jagged, herky-jerky drum-and-bass patterns that are as melodic as they are funky. Add Missy’s witty, off-kilter lyrics and her refreshingly down-to-earth image (and cameo appearances by Da Brat and Lil’ Kim), and you have an album that signals the arrival of a true R&B force. (East/West)

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