Supa Dupa Fly

Supa Dupa Fly is the debut studio album by American rapper Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, released July 15, 1997, on The Goldmind, East West, and Elektra Entertainment Group. The album was recorded and produced solely by Timbaland in October 1996, and features the singles, "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)", "Sock It 2 Me", "Hit Em wit da Hee" and "Beep Me 911". Guest appearances on the album include Busta Rhymes, Ginuwine, 702, Magoo, Da Brat, Lil' Kim, and Aaliyah. The album was recorded in just two weeks.[3]

Supa Dupa Fly
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 15, 1997 (1997-07-15)
StudioMaster Sound Studios
(Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott chronology
Supa Dupa Fly
Da Real World
Singles from Supa Dupa Fly
  1. "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)"
    Released: July 2, 1997
  2. "Sock It 2 Me"
    Released: September 21, 1997
  3. "Beep Me 911"
    Released: March 23, 1998
  4. "Hit Em wit da Hee"
    Released: April 3, 1998

The album received acclaim from critics, who praised Timbaland's futuristic production style and Elliott's performances and persona. It debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 and topped the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold 1.2 million copies in the United States.

In 2020, the album was ranked 93 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time"[4] and, in 2022, 53 on their "100 Best Debut Albums of All Time".[5]

Background and recording


While in high school, Elliott formed a group called Fayze—later to be renamed Sista—with three of her friends.[6][7] The group attracted the attention of record producer DeVante Swing, who was part of the R&B group Jodeci. After being signed to the Swing Mob record label, Sista recorded an album in New York, but the album was never released. This led to subsequent termination of Sista's recording contract. Elliott returned to Portsmouth, Virginia, where she and record producer Timbaland began writing songs and contributed to singer Aaliyah's album One in a Million. In 1996, Elliott was signed to East West Records, which at that time was a division of Elektra Entertainment Group, and was given her own record label, The Goldmind Inc. Sylvia Rhone, then the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Elektra, encouraged Elliott to embark upon a solo career.[6][8] Recording sessions of Supa Dupa Fly took place at the Master Sound Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia;[9] the recording process took place over slightly more than a week.[10] The album was produced solely by Timbaland.[6]

The first single released from the album was "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)".[11] As part of the promotional drive for her album, Elliott took part of the 1998 Lilith Fair tour; she became the first female rapper to perform at the event.[12] She also joined rapper Jay-Z's Rock the Mic tour.[12]

Musical content


Supa Dupa Fly brings together elements of hip hop, dance, R&B, electronic music, and soul.[13][14] Music critic Garry Mulholland described Timbaland's production as "eschewing samples for a bump 'n' grind electronica, strongly influenced by the digital rhythms of dancehall reggae, but rounder, fuller, fatter".[15] AllMusic described it as consisting of "lean, digital grooves [...] packed with unpredictable arrangements and stuttering rhythms that often resemble slowed-down drum'n'bass breakbeats."[13] A retrospective review from The New Yorker emphasizes the usage of "extra-musical noises" as "instruments in and of themselves" on the album, and describes the result as "a futuristic sound in which the organic and the synthetic were complementary".[10]

Elliott's raps were described as "full of hilariously surreal free associations that fit the off-kilter sensibility of the music to a tee".[13] According to author Mickey Hess, the album's lyrical content "reveals Elliott's complex, creative, and challenging discussion about womanhood; her demand for respect, respect for her personal voice and her desire for fulfilling intimacy with lovers and friends".[16] Elliott has also been recognized for her diverse cadences and deliveries on the album, a versatility that has been described as her "oily ability to slip from singing to rapping to elliptical riffing".[10] The album's opening track, "Busta's Intro", features rapper Busta Rhymes as a town crier warning of a "historical event about to unfold".[16] "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" contains a sample of Ann Peebles' 1973 song "I Can't Stand the Rain".[17] "Pass da Blunt" is partly based on the song "Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth. The track "Bite Our Style (Interlude)" samples the song "Morning Glory" by Jamiroquai.[18]

Reception and legacy

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [13]
Chicago Tribune    [19]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[20]
The Guardian     [21]
Los Angeles Times    [22]
Rolling Stone     [24]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [25]
The Village VoiceA−[27]

Upon its release, Supa Dupa Fly received acclaim among music critics. Writers lauded record producer Timbaland's production as unique and revolutionary. AllMusic called the album a "boundary-shattering postmodern masterpiece" whose "futuristic, nearly experimental style became the de facto sound of urban radio at the close of the millennium".[13] Elliott's rapping, singing and songwriting also received much acclaim. The 2004 edition of The Rolling Stone Album Guide rated the album five out of five stars, noting that the avant-garde sound of the album "made Elliott and Timbaland the hottest writer/producer team around".[25] Mulholland called the album a "key prophecy of the dominant 21st century black pop", noting Elliott's ability to "avoid the whole east vs. west, playas vs. gangstas mess." He described Elliott's style as "everything the hip hop doctor ordered; a woman who could flip between aggression and romance, sex and nonsense, materialism and imagination, without batting one outrageously spidery eyelash".[15]

Spin magazine ranked the album at number nine on its Top 20 Albums of the Year.[16] In 1998, four out of five music critics from The New York Times ranked the album as one of their top ten favorite albums of 1997.[28] The album earned Elliott two Grammy Award nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance for "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)".[16]

With the release of Supa Dupa Fly, Elliott became one of the most prominent female rappers.[29] Her persona on the album established a niche separate from the archetypes of "hypersexualized vixens or rugged hip hop purists", leading it to be argued that Supa Dupa Fly "caused a shift in how women in rap were perceived".[30] The album is credited for redefining hip hop and R&B;[13] in particular, Elliott's combination of rapped and sung vocals has been described as "pioneering".[10] Its production has been described as "visionary" for its usage of sampling, in which samples are not used straightforwardly and instead undergo "bending... to fit the album's unconventional tempos".[10] Its sound is frequently described as "futuristic" and "ahead of its time", with retrospective reviews often stating that the album retains that feel even decades after its release.[8][10] Steve Huey of AllMusic felt that the album was "arguably the most influential album ever released by a female hip-hop artist".[13]

The music videos from Supa Dupa Fly have been recognized as influential for their Afrofuturist style, with Elliott's leather "trash bag suit" in the "I Can't Stand the Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" video being hailed as especially iconic.[10][30]

Commercial performance


Supa Dupa Fly debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 with 129,000 copies sold in the first week released,[31] becoming the highest debut for a female rapper at the time.[12][32] The album remained on the chart for 37 weeks.[33] On September 19, 1997, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over a million copies.[34] As of June 2008, it has sold 1.2 million copies in the United States.[33]

Track listing


All tracks produced by Timbaland.

1."Busta's Intro" (performed by Busta Rhymes)Trevor Smith1:53
2."Hit Em wit da Hee" (featuring Lil' Kim)
3."Sock It 2 Me" (featuring Da Brat)
  • Elliott
  • Mosley
  • William Hart
  • Thom Bell
  • Shawntae Harris
4."The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)"
5."Beep Me 911" (featuring 702 & Magoo)
6."They Don't Wanna Fuck wit Me" (featuring Timbaland)
  • Elliott
  • Mosley
7."Pass da Blunt" (featuring Timbaland)3:17
8."Bite Our Style (Interlude)"
  • Elliott
  • Mosley
9."Friendly Skies" (featuring Ginuwine)
  • Elliott
  • Mosley
10."Best Friends" (featuring Aaliyah)
  • Elliott
  • Mosley
11."Don't Be Commin' (In My Face)"
  • Elliott
  • Mosley
12."Izzy Izzy Ahh"
  • Elliott
  • Mosley
13."Why You Hurt Me"
  • Elliott
  • Mosley
  • Eddie Floyd
14."I'm Talkin'"
  • Elliott
  • Mosley
15."Gettaway" (featuring Space and Nicole[a])
  • Elliott
  • Mosley
  • Tracey Selden
  • Lashone Siplin
16."Busta's Outro" (performed by Busta Rhymes)
  • Smith
  • Mosley
17."Missy's Finale"Elliott0:24


  • ^[a] Credited as Nicole, the featured artist often gets mistaken to be Nicole Wray, even though the featured artist is Virginia "Nikki" Slim. Missy reportedly talked about the falsely given credit in an interview.[citation needed]



Credits for Supa Dupa Fly adapted from AllMusic.[35]


Chart (1997) Peak
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[36] 43
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[37] 69
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[38] 49
UK Albums (OCC)[39] 124
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[40] 16
US Billboard 200[41] 3
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[42] 1


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[43] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[44] Platinum 1,200,000[33]

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also



  1. ^ "100 Best Debut Albums of All-Time". Rolling Stone. April 27, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  2. ^ Complex. "The 50 Greatest Debut Albums in Hip Hop History". Complex Media. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  3. ^ Elliott, Missy (December 27, 2019). "I recorded my 1st album with "SupaDupaFly" with @Timbaland in 2 weeks... …". @MissyElliott. Retrieved December 27, 2019. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)
  4. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 22, 2020.
  5. ^ Shachtman, Noah; Browne, David; Dolan, Jon; Freeman, Jon; Hermes, Will; Hoard, Christian; Lopez, Julyssa; Reeves, Mosi; Rosen, Jody; Sheffield, Rob (July 1, 2022). "100 Best Debut Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c Gaar, Gillian G. (2002). She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll. Seal Press. p. 463. ISBN 1-58005-078-6.
  7. ^ Brown, Ethan (March 23, 2007). "Everyone Wants Timbaland". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  8. ^ a b Tinsley, Justin (July 13, 2017). "Timbaland on Missy Elliott's 'Supa Dupa Fly' and how hip-hop got its groove back". Andscape. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  9. ^ "Missy Elliott – Supa Dupa Fly CD Album". CD Universe. Muze. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g St. Félix, Doreen (November 20, 2018). "Touchstones: Missy Elliott's "Supa Dupa Fly"". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  11. ^ Farley, Christopher John; Cole, Patrick E.; Thigpen, David E. (September 1, 1997). "The New Video Wizards". Time. Time. Archived from the original on September 14, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  12. ^ a b c Hess 2007, p. 508
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Huey, Steve. "Supa Dupa Fly – Missy Elliott". AllMusic. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  14. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2002). All Music Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 362. ISBN 0-87930-653-X.
  15. ^ a b Mulholland, Garry (2006). Fear of Music: The 261 Greatest Albums Since Punk and Disco. Orion Publishing Group. ISBN 0-7528-6831-4.
  16. ^ a b c d Hess 2007, p. 513
  17. ^ "Billboard". Billboard. Vol. 112, no. 50. Nielsen Business Media. December 9, 2000. p. 56. ISSN 0006-2510.
  18. ^ Hunter, James (August 1999). "JKNY". Vibe. pp. 112–116.
  19. ^ Kot, Greg (September 5, 1997). "Missy Misdemeanor Elliott: Supa Dupa Fly (EastWest)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  20. ^ Diehl, Matt (August 8, 1997). "Supa Dupa Fly". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  21. ^ Odell, Michael (August 15, 1997). "Play Missy for me". The Guardian.
  22. ^ Coker, Cheo Hodari (August 24, 1997). "Missy Elliott, 'Supa Dupa Fly,' EastWest Records". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 3, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  23. ^ Mayard, Judnick (November 4, 2018). "Missy Elliott: Supa Dupa Fly". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  24. ^ Jamison, Laura (September 4, 1997). "Missy Elliott: Supa Dupa Fly". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on May 10, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  25. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Missy Elliott". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 276. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  26. ^ Bernstein, Jonathan (October 1997). "Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott: Supa Dupa Fly (EastWest/EEG)". Spin. 13 (7): 136. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  27. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 3, 1998). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  28. ^ Pareles, Jon (January 8, 1998). "The Pop Life; The Best of '97: Looking for the Future While Listening to the Past". The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  29. ^ Price, Emmett George (2006). Hip Hop Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 300. ISBN 1-85109-867-4.
  30. ^ a b Turner-Williams, Jaelani (July 15, 2022). "25 Years Later, Missy Elliott Is Still 'Supa Dupa Fly'". BET. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  31. ^ "Got Charts? When First-Timers Debut Big — Ashanti, Tweet, Britney, Eminem & More". MTV. April 11, 2002.
  32. ^ Hunter, Karen (July 28, 1997). "Missy to the Max How a Regular Homegirl Became Hip Hop's Freshest Princess". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 2, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  33. ^ a b c "Billboard". Billboard. Vol. 120, no. 24. Nielsen Business Media. June 14, 2008. p. 25. ISSN 0006-2510.
  34. ^ "Gold & Platinum: Elliott, Missy". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on February 25, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  35. ^ "Supa Dupa Fly – Missy Elliott (Credits)". AllMusic. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  36. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 3286". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  37. ^ " – Missy Misdemeanor Elliott – Supa Dupa Fly" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  38. ^ " – Missy Misdemeanor Elliott – Supa Dupa Fly". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  39. ^ "Chart Log UK: 1994–2010: E-40 – E-Z Rollers". Zobbel. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  40. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  41. ^ "Missy Elliott Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  42. ^ "Missy Elliott Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  43. ^ "British album certifications – Missy Elliott – Supa Dupa Fly". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  44. ^ "American album certifications – Missy Elliott – Supa Dupa Fly". Recording Industry Association of America.