Let’s go ahead and get a few facts out of the way about Missy Elliot’s song “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly).” For one, the song is timeless—I believe if this song was released today, some 23 years after its original release, it would still be a hit. It’s so different and so unique, so special, that it defies the era. And because Missy is a special talent, the video is also timeless. Short of some of the fashion choices by folks like Diddy that harken back to a time when clothing was more drape-y than fitting, the video, if dropped today, in my humble opinion, would also still be a hit. It is, in fact, iconic.
This video dropped on my 18th birthday in 1997 (June 3), which was ALSO iconic because that is the day Wu Tang dropped their sophomore album, Wu Tang Forever. The point is, my birthday was musically epic that year. I remember seeing it (not specifically on my birthday) and being floored at how crazy, futuristic and out there the video was. And how perfectly it matched the song, which was Missy...musing on things.
I would have loved to be in the planning meetings for this video just so I could hear Missy say, “I’d like to wear a really big inflated trash bag. Thank you.” I’m sure folks looked around like, “huh?” but when the video was finished they all high-fived themselves like it was their idea. Shit, I see kids wearing versions of this today during halloween. Missy is an icon living. True story, I did try to blow up a trash bag with a vacuum cleaner hose at one point—as you can imagine, it did not work.
But everything about this video is amazing. The color schemes. The dancing. The randomness. The lighting. The everything. Not to mention, again, the song is John Blaze. I guess I mentioned it. No matter, I can’t stand the rain. AND I feel the wind. 5, 6, 7...8, 9, 10. Like you know they had fun making this video. Hell, I wish I could have been IN the joint. When I think of fun videos and videos that set artists apart from the rest, this is definitely one. It’s the shiny suit video that didn’t feel ridiculous. And that’s because Missy was an artist making art, and 23 years later, it’s still a magnificent work.
And that my friends, is iconic.