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Rapper Missy Elliott is known for her many songs like “Work It” and “Get Ur Freak On.” But like everyone else, she had to start somewhere. Here’s what the Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee shared in August 2020 about her time in school and how it relates to one teacher who is going viral on social media.

Missy Elliott’s incredible career 

Missy Elliott poses during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards on August 26, 2019
Missy Elliott poses during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards on August 26, 2019 | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for MTV

A rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer, Elliott has been in the music business for nearly 30 years. After starting as part of a group, she launched her solo career with her 1997 album Supa Dupa Fly, which charted on the Billboard 200. From there, she released four more albums in five years, winning her first Grammy in 2002.

In the 15 years since her last album, Cookbook, Elliott refocused her career. Though she still puts out music, like her 2019 EP Iconology, she’s spent time producing and writing, as well as collaborating with the likes of Lizzo and Ariana Grande. In 2019, she received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards, where she also performed.

She called herself the ‘class clown’ in school

Elliott was interested in entertainment from a young age. “I never saw anything else, never dreamed of doing anything else,” she told the Guardian back in 2003. While she described herself as the “class clown,” the article also details how intelligent she was, though she wasn’t particularly into her schoolwork.

After graduating, Elliott got involved in the music industry, making connections and eventually working with those she once considered her heroes. “These are people you don’t normally get within breathing distance of, or even within turn-pike distance,” she said of artists like Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston. “To be in the same room as them, and hear them say, ‘I love your music,’ that is a big event.”

Elliott responded to a Twitter video

Now, Elliott has flipped the script, complimenting those who look up to her. On August 18, 2020, a video of a teacher at Georgia high school was posted on Twitter. “Monroe High School teachers in Georgia started the 1st day of virtual school in the most [fire] way ever,” wrote the user who shared it.

In the video, the teacher, Mrs. Williams, raps and dances to welcome her students back for the year. Elliott came across the post and responded simply with fire emojis. A Twitter user replied, “Mrs. Williams reminds me of you Missy! Flow for days.” Elliott responded, “Yes i love it!”

She shared her own high school experience


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In the replies, to Elliott’s original tweet, another Twitter user wrote, “Hope Mrs. Williams is on Twitter. She needs to see this reply from Missy Elliott!” Elliott responded, “Maybe some1 will tell her I saw it.” She then related it to her time as a student.

“A fun fact in school I used to memorize my homework by making it into rap songs,” she wrote. “I had to learn a poem The Raven in school & the way I remembered it was to make it into a rap.” Elliott continued, “My English teacher loved it & gave me a A.”

The conversation continued, as yet another Twitter user replied, “You should definitely release that as a single.” Elliott responded, “Lol! I would if I had it.” She added, “I wish I could find my English teacher Mrs Copeland & Mrs Swinton…I was known for turning all my class work into rap songs always beating on the desk rapping English work and science & history class.”