Review Summary: The house party of your dreams.
There is no way Missy didn’t know that she was stacking the front of this album. From the slinky bounce of Hit ‘Em Wit Da Hee to Beep Me 911’s popping bass line the first four cuts of this album seem guaranteed to cripple the rest of this album and stick it with the dreaded “front loaded” tag. And on first glance, it seems to do that. Everything after Beep Me 911 seems lazy, listless, and slight in comparison to the mighty opening salvo, but one of the great joys contained in Supa Dupa Fly is discovering the amazing back side of the album.
But goddamn, that first half is something else. Timbaland is on some unholy next level s*** here, dig Hit Em Wit Da Hee’s dusty guitar riff, the impossibly hard drums of Sock it 2 Me, or The Rain’s seemingly infinite amount of stoned atmosphere. Missy matches him beat for beat, single handedly creating new styles on The Rain, heartbroken and frustrated on Beep Me 911. It’s a blueprint on how to open a debut album, those four cuts alone secure Missy’s place in rap Valhalla, but while Da Brat turns in the verse of her life on Sock it 2 Me long forgotten lunkhead Magoo seems to have wrote his in the bathroom at the studio and shows up at the end of Beep Me 911 to say “Things are going to get worse from here.”
They do, but its not because what follows is bad, it just seems bad in the towering shadow of what precedes it. Think of it as an awesome after party, everyone is happy, relaxed, and more than a little bit stoned. Missy is so thoroughly chilled here she makes Snoop Dogg look like Henry Rollins. Over a goofily addictive bass line, Missy barely pays any mind to song structure on the superb Izzy Izzy Ahh dropping choruses wherever she damn well pleases. Timbaland stays on his A game as well, laying weird vocal hooks like the skittering pixie on They Don’t Wanna F*** With Me and hiccupping all over Don’t Be Comin’ (In My Face).
Making an album is hard work, you have to book studio time, session musicians, mix and mix and mix, scrap some songs, sequence and even after the album is done the label still might reject it. Supa Dupa Fly was probably as hard to make as any album if not harder but you wouldn’t know it by listening to it. It feels like it was banged out in an afternoon over a few blunts. It ends with two outros but it doesn’t feel gratuitous. Missy’s just having so much fun she doesn’t want the album to end.