Missy Elliott is getting candid about her life and storied career as the latest cover star of Marie Claire.

Missy stuns on the cover in a bold Dolce & Gabbana coat, and inside, the pioneering rapper shares her aspirations to be a musical mentor and describes how she literally spoke her success into existence.

“I was just telling somebody that everything I spoke, I’ve done. And that’s how

powerful the tongue is,” Missy recalled to the publication. “I used to sit in the house and act like I was having conversations with Janet [Jackson] and Michael [Jackson] and Madonna and whoever.”

Since that time, of course, Missy has gone on to release six studio albums, grace the stage of many coveted awards shows and collaborate with the stars she adored. This month, the Grammy-winning lyricist became the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

But initially, her path to accomplishing such milestones was less than clear.

“Everything just seemed so impossible at the time because we didn’t have the technology to be able to reach out and put your stuff online and people get a chance to see it,” Missy explained to Marie Claire.

More than a decade since her last album, The Cookbook, the rapper is prepping for its highly-anticipated follow-up and is hoping to champion rising talent along the way.

“I do want to make the generation behind feel like, ‘Don’t be afraid,’ because we are in a time where so many people can be artists. I want to be able to encourage those who don’t go viral,” Missy explained. “Just be you. It’s going to catch hold somewhere.”

Missy’s cover story hits newsstands everywhere on July 23.

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