Missy Elliott Makes More Money Off a Hit Bad Bunny Song Than Bad Bunny Himself

Grammy-winning rapper Missy Elliott has released countless hit songs over the years, and paved the way for artists like her to succeed in the music industry. One artist who paid tribute to Elliott’s artistry is Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny.

Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott | Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Missy Elliott has writing credits on ‘Safaera’ by Bad Bunny

Bad Bunny‘s 2020 sophomore album YHLQMDLG showed that he was a reggaetón artist to back up his talent. One of the songs on the album was “Safaera,” a tribute to old-school 2000s reggaetón that brought together Bad Bunny with fellow Boricuas, Jowell & Randy and Ñengo Flow.

In addition to their verses, the song’s production — handled by prolific Puerto Rican producer and songwriter Tainy — includes samples of various songs, including Missy Elliott’s 2001 hit “Get Ur Freak On” and Bob Marley‘s beloved song “Could You Be Loved.”

“Safaera” was never released as a single, but it has remained a fan favorite from the album since its release.

Missy Elliott corrected Jowell about her part in ‘Safaera’

In March 2022, Jowell sat down with Molusco TV to discuss the song and much more. In the interview, Jowell said that Elliott requested millions of dollars in copyright after “Safera” was released without clearing the sample with her. This ultimately left Bad Bunny, Jowell & Randy, and Ñengo Flow with 1% of the song’s profits.

Jowell was accused on Twitter of inciting fan hatred toward Missy Elliott because of the money she earns thanks to “Safaera.” Jowell said in response that Elliott didn’t care people were upset about her outsize portion of the song’s royalties. Elliott herself then responded to clarify just how the finances are set up.

“Sadly you mislead all these people to make them think I have 99%. Now I don’t talk business online because that’s messy but now we are here I have 25% and there is 6 other samples and 15 other writers on this one song. They got percentage also,” the “Lose Control” rapper said.

Jowell responded to Elliott with nothing but gratitude for her work. “Missy, something got lost in translation cuz I never said you take 99%,” he said. “I’m cool with my 1%. Excuse me, nothing but love from Puerto Rico to you.”

Elliott was happy that Jowell cleared the air. “I’m glad that you now mention that there are many other samples/writers on this track that got their percentages that you hadn’t named. We both in the music business and know how we must clear someone else’s work,” she said, sending her love. Jowell even replied saying they should work on an original song together at some point.

‘Get Ur Freak On’ has been sampled by other artists

“Safaera” is only one of many songs that have utilized Timbaland’s production on “Get Ur Freak On.” Bubba Sparxxx’s debut single “Ugly,” for example, interpolated “Get Ur Freak On,” and Elliott even appeared in the music video for the track.

Other songs that have included “Get Ur Freak On” in some way over the past two decades include the Girl Talk songs “Oh No” and “Let It Out,” “ILoveYourAunt” by Ski Mask the Slump God and A$AP Ferg, and “Turn Off the Lights” by Shakka and Wretch 32.

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