— Monica (@MonicaBrown) August 16, 2016
Monica Brown was one of the most consistent R&B hit-makers of the late 1990’s. The Atlanta-bred singer/songwriter dropped three consecutive #1 hits from 1998 to 1999 (“The Boy Is Mine” with Brandy, “The First Night” and “Angel of Mine”), and saw her two most heralded LPs–Miss Thang and The Boy is Mine-sell over 6 million records collectively.
However, one of Monica’s best moments came after the turn of the millennium, in 2003, when she dropped a liberating ladies anthem, “So Gone,” produced by Missy Elliott. “So Gone” put Monica back in the Billboard Hot 100 top 10–at the time, it had been 5 years since any of her singles had charted higher than $64–and showed off Missy’s brilliance behind the boards (it’s this writer’s humble opinion that “So Gone” is one of the best R&B beats ever).
13 years after that, “So Gone,” has once again stolen the spotlight, as amateur and professional rappers from all corners of the world have decided to put their freestyle and rapping skills to the test, with the “So Gone” instrumental serving as the sonic backdrop. Chance The Rapper had a hand in helping the hashtag–#SoGoneChallenge–go viral, as he playfully rapped about his newborn daughter and gave fans an extremely rare glimpse at her mother in his submission.
Today, in one of the coolest full-circle moments of the year, Monica, who happened to be in the studio with Missy Elliott, recorded her own minute-long freestyle, mixing rapping and singing as Missy mimicked the beat’s rhythm on a wall bearing her face in the background. Watch the clip above.