But Elliott is one of the most revered rappers and producers of her generation. AsMicrophone Check co-host Frannie Kelley tells NPR's Audie Cornish, "Without Missy, there is no Nicki."
Still, she's been quiet lately. Elliott hasn't put out an album of new music since 2005. "She has said that she has Graves' Disease, which is a disease of the thyroid and has very different symptoms depending on the person who has it," Kelley says. "She has said there's been times where she couldn't even pick up a pen to write songs."
"She's also spoken about the pressures of following her wild success less than 10 years ago, and also sort of not being inspired by new sounds, wanting to make something really different, and maybe even also wanting to be an underdog again — to come out and shock the world," says Kelley.