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Love Letter to a Record: Tahdig on Missy Elliott’s ‘The Cookbook’

Music Feeds’ Love Letter To A Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share stories about how the music they love has influenced their lives.

Brisbane rapper Tahdig recently released the single, ‘Air Force 1’, a high-energy hip hop track that pays tribute to the Nike sneakers of its title. Tahdig was born in Iran and migrated to Queensland as a child with her family. She discovered hip hop when she was nine years old and has never looked back.

Here, Tahdig confesses her love for The Cookbook by Missy Elliott, which came out in 2005.

Tahdig on Missy Elliott’s The Cookbook

I remember the morning excitement of rage music videos being aired on TV. Every Saturday morning, I would be ready to turn on the television and watch my favourite hip hop and rap artists perform their songs. From the age of nine I fell in love with hip hop culture – I was infatuated with the clothing style and dance.

When I first listened to ‘Lose Control’ by Missy Elliott from her album The Cookbook, I was instantly intrigued. I still remember the cool dance moves and the vibe Missy Elliott demonstrated in her video; I knew from then on that I wanted to be like Missy.

Her album, The Cookbook, which was released in 2005, was the beginning of my love for hip-hop/rap music. I would blast my favourite tracks from that album, like ‘Lose Control’, ‘Joy’, ‘We Run This’, and ‘Bad Man’, in the living room when my parents were out. I would dance and lip sync to the tracks as if I were in a music video.

Hip hop culture has been a huge influence in my life growing up. It has moulded me into the person I am today. It is the reason for my confidence and the way I present myself. Often people think of hip-hop/rap culture as a negative influence and a genre that is always associated with crime and violence. However, as an up-and-coming hip-hop/rap artist, I aim to change that perspective and to encourage young people and artists in the industry to change that narrative.

When I make music, I want it to be meaningful and relatable, I want my audience to connect with the lyrics and the message I portray. For the past 10 years, many artists in the hip-hop/rap music scene have had an impact in my journey to becoming a rapper.

Although I will always remember the early years of hip hop and rap, I will not forget how well Missy Elliott represented female rap artists in the industry and the unique style she brought to the scene. I will continue to strive for excellence in making music and I hope to be a positive influence on my audience.

Tahdig – ‘Air Force 1’

Further reading

Love Letter To A Record: There’s A Tuesday On Julia Jacklin’s ‘Crushing’

Love Letter To A Record: Josie Moon On Agust D’s Self-Titled Mixtape

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