Naima Cochrane Profile picture
Jul 1, 2018 63 tweets 23 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Happy Sunday! I know it's strange to have no #30DayMusicChallenge today, but I do have a bonus day to wrap the whole thing up. I'll post tomorrow.
HOWEVER, there IS a #MusicSermon today! And I changed some sermons around bc I think ya'll need a live one after this bs week. ⛪️
I'll open doors of the church around 8:30/sunset.
In the meantime, the #MusicSermon ministry has been *very* busy in June, and some of it got lost in the music challenge posts. Catch up w/ a special non-sermon, all-update edition of the Church Bulletin….
Aight guys, it's cool enough for me to venture out and get some food real quick, then we'll get started with tonight's #MusicSermon.
Please prepare your hearts, minds and ears.
You may wanna get a snack, too...tonight might be kinda long. ⛪️
Ushers, you may start seating.
*Steps into pulpit*
*Wipes brow*
*Takes long drag from water glass*
*Opens text*

Happy Sunday, ya'll! I pray ya'll are managing to stay cool. I was just outside at this hour and there was not a breeze or bit of relief from the heat to be found...smh
I wanna thank ya'll, again, for your participation in the #30DayMusicChallenge. I really enjoyed it. And as I said earlier, there's a bonus day that'll properly wrap it all up, and I'll post that tomorrow.
So tonight, I'm breaking the #B2K rule. (Ya'll get excited when I do that, I know).
You guys have been asking me to cover Missy and/or Tim for a while.
Not only is today Missy's birthday, but the 21st anniversary of Supa Dupa Fly is in a couple of weeks, so here we are... BUT...
The thing @ Tim & Missy is, their story is SO MUCH deeper than just them. They went through some real sh*t to get their gifts out to the world, and are indelibly bonded to the small crew we most commonly associate with them including Genuwine, Aaliyah & Tweet: The Superfriends
For the next few weeks (however long it takes to do this properly, cause clearly it won't all be tonight), we're going to talk about one most creative and influential music collaboratives in r&b and hip hop.
But tonight we'll start with original story, and focus on the bday girl
It's been a minute since we had church announcements, and it's been a minute since there was a long sermon, so tonight it's appropriate....
1. Please do not @ me with "What about...?" or your own links while I'm mid-sermon. You wouldn't stand up in church and interrupt the preacher (I would hope). There's a method to my flow. Give me time.

2. Even if I pause for a minute, it's not over until you see the benediction
3. Once I get flowing, there will inevitably be some typos. When I catch them before moving on, I correct them. Sometimes I don't, and it's hard to fix a tweet in the middle of a long thread. I ask for your grace, and that you read in context. Thanks in advance.
And lastly..

4. There WILL be playlists as we go through.
A couple of years ago, Missy unexpectedly popped up in the middle of the Superbowl halftime show to remind some and reveal to others just how f*cking amazing she is.
She'd been off the scene for awhile, and suddenly we remembered what was missing in hip hop that we couldn't quite put our finger on: FUN.
Missy and Tim (and Hype, but we'll get to that) introduced sounds, visuals and vibes we'd never see or heard before in hip hop and r&b...
Let's back up. The Superfriends are an offshoot of Devante Swing's Swing Mob/Da Basement writing & producing collective. These artists (with the exception of Aaliyah) survived and *escaped*, really, years of an abusive environment under Devante (allegedly)...
But before that, there was Tim Mosely, Melvin Barcliff, and Melissa Elliott in Portsmouth, VA
There's a lot of tangents to this story (which is why it's gonna take a while to hit everything). We gotta talk @ VA. Some music journalists have talked about the phenomenon of the musical greatness that's come from the Portsmouth, Norfolk, VA Beach area. The catalyst is Teddy.
Teddy is from Harlem, but has been associated with (and repping) VA since he moved there in the early 90s. He held talent shows, threw events, and basically left his studio open for young, emerging artists to come through.
Emerging artists like DJ Timothy, and band kid Pharrell
Tim & Pharrell both grew up in the New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ. I be telling ya'll about church-bred musicians!! Teddy, also a church boy, made that his church home as well. Clearly the music ministry was on point.

I'ma throw Rump Shaker in here, bc Teddy & Pharrell
(PS, WHOOOO knew Pharrell had COGIC roots!?!??!)
P & Tim were in a band together in HS called Surrounded by Idiots, and then had their own separate groups, Tim's with Magoo. At the same time, Missy had her own group getting local radio play, Fayze.
Larry Lyons, Tim and Magoo's mutual best friend, met Missy first. She was looking for someone to help her group put their demo together, and he told her about Tim (who had a local reputation as a DJ).
She came to Tim's house, had him play her some beats, and starting riffing and singing over everything he played. Tim has said that later that night he told his mom Missy his God-sent sister. Missy's 19, Tim's 17 or 18. That was the beginning of them as a team.
Fayze is at Tim's house daily working on their demo, then Missy cooks up a plan to sneak backstage at an upcoming Jodeci concert and sing for Devante. The plan works. Devante signs the group to a production deal & changes their name to Sista. Missy insists Tim stay on as producer
Before we jump into the Devante/Da Bassment/Swing Mob chapter, back to Melissa Arnette Elliot, because there's a few things you need to understand about young Missy.
1. Missy's fatherr, a retired Marine, was physically abusive to her and her mother. When she was in high school, she and her mom fled to a family member's house.

2. She was deemed gifted at a young age & skipped one or two grades, but purposely got left back to be with friends
Ok, so now Sista is signed to Devante. He moves them and Tim up to NJ and puts ALL OF THEM in a two bedroom apartment. Tim & all his equipment in one room, the four girls in sista in the other room. They don't even care through, bc they're finally getting their music out!
We even got our first glimpses of Missy "Misdemeanor" in the remix of Sista's "Bran New"
The girls and Tim finish the album, turn it in to Devante.....
And then SILENCE. They try to encourage themselves...he's on the road. Give him a minute, blah blah blah. Then they hear through other sources that his production deal with Elektra is a wrap. WOMP.
But Devante shows up and makes them an offer: he wants Tim & Magoo as a group, and wants Tim and Missy to join his stable of writers, artists and producers in Teaneck, Da Basement. Da Basement also included Genuwine, Playa, and a group named Shugah with a young Tweet.
Magoo moves up, and he and Tim move into Devante's house (Da Bassment headquarters). Missy stayed in the apt in Hackensack. Tim was excited to have a full studio at his disposal. They're both excited to work on the next Jodeci album plus all Devante's projects... shit ain't gravy
Tim and a couple other people have talked about how crazy the following couple of years (94, 95) were as part of Swingmob. Devante was controlling, insecure and stingy. People were packed in the house like the worst of dorms, and once Jodeci signed to Suge/Death Row it got worse
The Swing Mob camp was literally eating scraps, if anything at all. Running errands for Devante & the group (and their girls). Terrorized into loyalty. Smacked around. But had no money, and no rights to music they'd been working on. I'll get more into that with Tim.
Missy & Tim worked on things together and separately. Some credited, some not.
Missy wrote and co-produced a single with Devante for Hi Five front man Tony Thompson's solo effort. (RIP Tony)
She did some writing on The Show, The Afterparty, The Hotel including my jam that I always felt should have been a single, "S'more"
After a year and change of grinding it out with no mention at all of them getting any real shot, and things becoming increasingly violent, Missy tells Tim "I'm out." She tells him she's lived through this sh*t with her parents and she's not doing it again. She's going home.
She urges Tim to come with her on some "Ni**a pack a bag, get your sh*t, sneak out [YES, SNEAK. IT WAS THAT BAD]. Now. Let's go." But Tim can't bring himself to leave, but we'll talk about that more when we get to his sermon.
Missy's lawyer, Louise West (google her) encourages here to focus on writing for a while, (and this is something I want to really emphasize tonight - Missy as writer/producer). Missy hangs around Faith and Bad Boy a bit, and Puff asks her to get on a remix.
It seems so crazy now that "The Things You Do" was, essentially, Missy's introduction to the world. Like she just came straight with the energy and catch phrases!! Then she starts working with r&b group 702, and now there's a frenzy to sign her.
Missy gets a publishing deal based on "Steelo" and her verse on "The Things You Do" (Tim gets his at the same time based solely off of "Pony", which wasn't yet released. But we'll come back to that), THEN gets a solo deal + imprint with Elektra, THEN signs with Mona Scott-Young
Almost got ahead of myself.

So, Missy and Tim are now known as a writing/production team. They did a demo for a girl group that got into the hands of Barry Hankerson, Aaliyah's uncle and manager.

He was working on Aaliyah's sophomore album & wanted them to meet.

Aaliyah's story is primarily considered a Timbaland story, but Missy wrote on every song on the album - even the one she's not actually credited on.
She was the perfect artist to properly introduce Missy & Tim's creative combination to the music world.
The Aaliyah album is massive (as twitter knows, if don't nobody else know), so Missy & Tim are now untouchable.
AGAIN, Missy ain't released her own album YET.
We're about to get into how innovative she is an an artist, but you HAVE to acknowledge her equally as writer/producer.
Then comes 1997, and the game. fucking. changed.
I've said before that people overuse the phrase "game-changing", but in this case it's valid AF.
Missy & Tim reportedly finished Supa Dupa Fly in like a week, maybe two. They have a long-standing habit of competing to see who can finish their part of the song first, which may have contributed to that short time table.
Tim was the sole producer for the album.
This brings us into the next aspect of Missy's genius: visuals.
There's an entirely separate story to be told about Missy's partnerships with Hype & Dave Meyers (starting w/ the Under Construction album), and seperately a story about the magic of Hype & Missy and Hype & Busta.
And Missy is legit like, the most popular girl in school. Think about it, you've never heard of ANYBODY having beef with Missy. From jump; she's embracing her peers as sisters and putting her arms around young un's to groom.
And just because it was such a HUGE moment (I'd love to see something like this happen again), here's the VMA performance of "Ladies Night".

The volume's crazy low, though.
Missy broke every stereotype for popular female artists in the 90s, period. Not just in hip hop. No one was offering all of this: writing and production, singing (well) and rapping, vocal arranging, creativity and vision, and a eye/ear for new talent - ALL OF IT - in one package.
If you pull Missy's writing and production discography from Wikipedia you will be greeting with FIFTEEN PAGES. 15. One five.
Some ya' you were aware of...
Some you weren't...

(This used to be my sh*t, BTW. This whole album; my favorite Mimi album by far).
Some maybe you thought she was just a feature on, and didn't realize she co-produced and wrote.
(If you pay attention, you can always hear Missy in the background vox of songs she wrote, even if she wrote them for other singers.)
Between her first and second solo albums she did stuff for Adina Howard, Mariah, SWV, MC Late, Yo Yo, Whitney, a couple of soundtracks, Destiny's child, and one of my favorite projects of hers, Total's sophomore album, which she exec-produced.
...and of course her babies 702 (who were actually signed to Mike Bivens...which is weird to me, but whatever.)
For Missy's sophomore album, we didn't think she and Hype could top all the mind-bending whimsey and creativity they'd given us for the Supa Dupa cycle, but BITCH...

No, literally.

Somebody remind me to text the OG Sylvia Rhone tomorrow and ask her @ this budget.
Did I mention that Missy has one of the greatest collaboration track records of like...anybody?
I mean...she got mad people on her OWN stuff, obviously...
But she brings heat with her to other people's tracks, too.
Basically, it's a party once Missy's involved.
(Whoooooo, shit this was my JOINT)
I'm bouncing around Missy's timeline a bit, but we ain't even into her third album good, and haven't yet touched on Nicole Wray and Tweet, not to mention her later work with Monica, Jazmine Sullivan, etc.

We'll pick up with part II for Missy tomorrow, and Tim after the holiday
Like I said, this series will take as long as it takes. THIS crew needs a movie. The whole crew (cause we also still gotta talk about Ginuwine)...
But for now, if all hearts and minds are full ✋🏾
May music fill you and keep you
May it wrap itself around you, and be comforting to you
May it shine it’s light and joy upon you, and give you peace.

And all the people said...
If you are moved to give, be it a donation to #MusicSermon’s building (verb instead of noun) fund, or a love offering, you can do so at$naimacochrane. You are appreciated! 🖤
Oh, the typos tonight were bad. AND I swear I looked dead at some of those tweets and saw sh*t correct.

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*Steps into pulpit without robes*
*Adjust mic*
*Clears throat*

Happy Sunday, family.
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It's #MusicSermon's BIRTHDAY!!! 🍾🎉
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See ya'll this evening! ⛪️…
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Alight y'all, I'm getting organized and then well get started with tonight's #MusicSermon.
Ushers, you may begin seating. ⛪️
*Steps into pulpit*
*Adjusts mic*
*Cleans glasses*
*Opens text*

Good evening, family. Sorry for the late start. For one, it's hard for me to settle into a sermon while it's still daylight. Second, I was hit with a massive bout of sleepiness out of the blue...
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