Missy Elliot donated $50,000 to her hometown housing organisation in Portsmouth, Virginia, a year after the town honoured the rapper with an eponymous 17 October holiday, “Missy Elliot Day.”
According to The Virginian Pilot, Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority executive director Alisa Winston revealed Elliot’s donation during a special ceremony at the Dr O Marriner Family Life Center at Grove Church. At the ceremony, the “Work It” rapper gave a short speech, telling the audience how she’d planned something big in honour of the first anniversary of “Missy Elliot Day.”
“I wanted to give back and let that be the celebration of Missy Elliott, just to show that I love everybody out here,” she explained, noting that she would always keep her hometown close to her heart. “Just know that P-town is with me no matter where I go. I love my city. I love my state. I love everything about it. Everything about Missy comes from here.”
After the ceremony, the songwriter’s mother Patricia shared some insight into her daughter’s generous nature, saying: “When you give, you give because you remember those days when you didn’t have. If each person would give when they get to the top, then, what a real beautiful world we would be in.”
Missy shared photos from the event in an Instagram carousel, which included pictures of the rapper posing with Winston and other Portsmouth residents. In the post’s caption, the producer wrote: “Thank you VA! Where I was born taught me DRIVE taught me FAITH taught me HUMILITY also taught me.”
“Don’t try me either,” she continued. “But most of all taught me the blessings I get are not just for me but to Bless someone else [sic] I love.”
In another post, Elliot stood in front of the street sign which the Portsmouth City Council had voted unanimously to rename a portion of to “Missy Elliott Boulevard” last September.
“I been through MANY ups and downs but it’s nothing like having FAITH!” the “Lose Control” rapper wrote in the Instagram carousel’s caption. “God I Thank you for your FAVOR [sic] If anybody feel like quitting NO just hang in there your BLESSING may be coming sooner than you think! Just keep PUSHING even through tough times! You built for this.”
It was also announced that the rapper would receive a key to the city amid the statewide declaration that 17 October would be “Missy Elliot Day.”
“We’re beyond proud of Missy’s accomplishments and so thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate her right here in her hometown of Portsmouth, Virginia,” Portsmouth City Manager Tonya Chapman said at the time. “Missy’s trailblazing career is a testament that when you dream big, anything is possible. We’re excited to celebrate her and rename this street in her honour.”
According to WAVY, fellow Virginia natives Pusha T, Trey Songz, and Timbaland were also in attendance as Elliot was celebrated with a parade at Manor High School, which reportedly included three HBCU bands: the Norfolk State University Spartan Legion, Hampton University’s Marching Force, and Elizabeth City State University’s Sound of Class.