Da Real World is the second studio album by American rapper Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, released on June 22, 1999 by Elektra and The Goldmind. The album is noted for adding a raunchier and darker style to Elliott’s music, as well as including the overt political use of the term “bitch”. The album features guest appearances from B.G., Juvenile, Lil’ Mo, Nicole, Beyoncé, Eve, Eminem, Lady Saw, Da Brat, Aaliyah, Big Boi of Outkast, Lil’ Kim, MC Solaar, and Redman.
The album debuted at number ten on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 131,000 copies. The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It spawned the singles “She’s a Bitch”, “All N My Grill”, and “Hot Boyz (Remix)”, and has sold 2 million units worldwide
Originally titled She’s a Bitch, Elliott commented on the choice for the title as a positive way of expressing herself as a “strong woman in power”; she also stated that she felt very pressured while recording this album, and explained that she was afraid of experiencing a sophomore slump. Elliott dedicated the album to the victims of the Columbine High School massacre.
On March 4, 1999, “She’s a Bitch” was sent to local radio stations in the United States as the lead single for the album. Elliott went on to release two additional singles: “All N My Grill” and “Hot Boyz (Remix)”, featuring Eve, Nas, and Lil’ Mo.
Da Real World received critical acclaim from music critics. Keith Farley of AllMusic declared it an “excellent follow-up” and added that “it’s clearly a Missy Elliott album in most respects, with Timbaland’s previously trademarked, futuristic-breakbeat production smarts laced throughout.” Entertainment Weekly felt that “Da Real World marks steps in several right directions — both for rap and for understanding the never-ending battle of the sexes.”
Touré of Rolling Stone compared the album to George Lucas’s epic space opera Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) and wrote: “Da Real World is much-anticipated and futuristic, with a hype that outstrips the reality. The concept is more interesting than the execution.” He added that “even if Da Real World isn’t a successful one, the album, somewhat, recalls Queen Latifah.