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Missy Elliott Says She and Timbaland Were ‘Unafraid and Unapologetic’ During ‘Get Ur Freak On’ Era

In the Nineties, Missy Elliott and Timbaland were just a pair of kids from Virginia — but they ended up changing the sound of hip-hop and pop forever. The two geniuses would collaborate on production for their friends and eventually on Missy Elliott‘s own successful string of albums and major hits. The most inventive of them remains “Get Ur Freak On,” the lead single off 2001’s Miss E…So Addictive.

This week on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs, hosts Brittany Spanos and Rob Sheffield dig into everything that makes “Get Ur Freak On” so great: the experimental production that fuses dancehall with bhangra, Missy’s inventive wordplay, the surprise samples and, of course, that inimitable creative chemistry she shares with Timbaland. The pair also celebrate the impact the two have had on music since they burst on the scene, whether its their reinvention of Aaliyah’s career, the trippy, avant-garde music videos for Missy’s own hits, or Timbaland’s world-shifting touch on pop music in the aughts.

Later, Sheffield has a conversation with the so addictive Miss E herself. The pair had chatted for a special episode of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums podcast a few years ago. The rap legend details what made her and Timbaland’s creative synergy so special and forward-thinking.

In 2004, Rolling Stone launched its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. Tabulated from a massive vote that had artists, industry figures, and critics weighing in, the list has been a source of conversation, inspiration, and controversy for two decades. It’s one of the most popular, influential, and argued-over features the magazine has ever done.


So we set out to make it even bigger, better, and fresher. In 2021, we completely overhauled our 500 Songs list, with a whole new batch of voters from all over the music map. Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs takes a closer look at the entries on our list. Made in partnership with iHeart, Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs finds Brittany and Rob discussing a new song each week, delving into its history and impact with the help of a special guest — including fellow RS colleagues, producers, and the artists themselves. It’s our celebration of the greatest songs ever made — and a breakdown of what makes them so great.

Check out the latest episode above, on iHeart, or wherever you get your podcasts, and look for new episodes every Wednesday.

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